Have you ever felt as if you weren’t getting anything out of church?
Maybe you’ve made comments like these:
“I’m just not getting fed at my church.”
“I don’t feel the Lord’s presence here.”
“I feel like there should be more to church than what I’m getting.”
I want to share with you today how you can make every church service you attend an hour of power.
It’s so simple, you probably won’t believe me, but unless you are in a completely dead church where the Word is not even preached, you can make every Sunday morning an hour of power.
First, pre-prayer for worship.
“After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray” (Matthew 14:23, NIV84).
Even Jesus set aside times to pray to the Father–alone, not just in the synagogue. We should be spending time with Jesus every day, but even more so on Sunday mornings before church. Get up early enough to spend some time in prayer before you go. Praise God for who He is. Thank Him for all He has done in your life. Confess your sins and ask for a clean heart and a renewed spirit. Ask God to give you ears to hear and a heart to receive what He has for you.
Pray for your Sunday school teachers or small group leaders, choir or praise team members, and nursery and children’s church workers.
“I urge you brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me” (Romans 15:30).
Pray for your pastor and his family. Ask God to give him focus and anointing to bring the Word. Your pastor’s wife often takes as many hits as he does, plus she feels the need to protect him from too much stress and the hurtful words of others. She carries the burden of being under a microscope as both a wife and mother. Pray for her.
Did you know Sunday is probably the devil’s favorite day of the week? There is nothing he would love more than to come into your sanctuary and have a seat on your back pew. He loves to cause distractions during worship and create strife in the atmosphere. Pray for a spiritual covering over your service and for the Holy Spirit to be poured out.
Second, come hungry.
“He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD” (Deuteronomy 8:3).
Not many of us would sit at the table every night and wait on someone to feed us. The hungrier you come, the more you will receive. Unless pure heresy is being taught, I can get fed every single time the Word is preached no matter where I go. Period.
You know why?
I take my Bible. I open it up. I read the passages. I take notes from the message. I ask God to show me how to apply the words to my life. When I go to church, I expect God to speak to me through my pastor. He is simply a tool in God’s hands–a mouthpiece for the Lord.
“Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true” (Acts 17:11).
Did you catch that? They weren’t trying to find errors to discredit Paul. They were hungry for truth and searching out the Scriptures to verify what they were hearing. Wow. Shouldn’t we all be doing that?
If you feel your pastor isn’t preaching as he should, then get on your knees and ask God to teach him. But honestly, many of us wouldn’t even know if he were to preach heresy because (1) we’re not listening, (2) we don’t know the Scriptures for ourselves, and (3) we don’t examine to see if it’s truth.
Third, look for someone else to encourage.
Anytime we feel we aren’t getting our needs met, the best remedy is to look for a need to meet. My small group is studying A Woman Who Doesn’t Quit: 5 Habits from the Book of Ruth by Nicki Koziarz. One of the lessons I’ve learned is to be emotionally generous. Give to others what you need yourself.
If you feel like you don’t have any close friends in your church, go be a friend to someone else. If you are lonely and no one seems to care, go find someone who looks lonely and take them out to eat. If you need prayer or encouragement or a visit or a card, go find someone else and pray, encourage, visit, or send them a card.
I know that sometimes churches can be a place of hurt, a place that seems dry, or a place where we can’t seem to find our way. I’m not making light of that or saying it’s always our fault. But unless we are in a church that is totally dead and God is telling us to move on, then we will usually find that a change of perspective can make all the difference.
To almost-quote a late President, “Ask not what your church can do for you. Ask what you can do for your church.” Seriously. Ask the Lord to show you. If He wants you to move on to another church, He will tell you. If not, then be the change your church needs. Every hour can be an hour of power. It all depends on your perspective.
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