Concerning worship, ask not “What will meet my needs?” rather, “What kind of worship does God call for?” Worship is something we do because of God’s desire for it, not ours.
Here are seven ways to experience God in Sunday worship:
1) “Pray without ceasing.” [1 Thes. 5:17] When you turn to God in prayer, praise, and thanksgiving throughout each day, your heart will already be trained on the Spirit and open to God during public congregational worship.
2) Worship God at work and at home. Gather groups of two or three for times of prayer and praise. The daily worship experiences infuse weekend gatherings with greater vibrancy.
3) Prepare for worship. Go to bed early the night before. Read the scripture beforehand. Examine your conscience and come ready for confession. Enter the sanctuary early and let go of worries and distractions.
4) Submit to God and the gathered Body of Christ. Let go of your personal agenda. Pray for and seek God’s presence within the congregation as a group.
5) Wait for God. Become completely dependent on God’s action, patiently waiting for God to work things out.
6) Pray through distractions. Bless crying babies. Pray for chatty neighbors. Let go of whatever expectations you have for worship time and simply receive God in the midst of what is.
7) Go to worship even when you don’t feel like it. God desires our sacrifice of worship. Ignore your current feelings or previous experiences. God will meet you in worship no matter how you feel about it, so go. Show up. God will.
Adapted from Celebration of Discipline by Richard J. Foster.