Honestly, this time of year crushes me on the weekends for one simple reason: NCAA SEC football. I love the fall because I get to watch my favorite team (and undoubtedly the best NCAA football program in history): the Alabama Crimson Tide!
The problem for me with NCAA football is that many games are played late on Saturday evening, which translates into a late night and little sleep coming into Sunday morning. For a preacher like myself, that’s not always the best stewardship of time. I admit: sometimes I allow the weekend to crush me before Sunday morning. (But, its for a good cause, right? I mean, BAMA is #1 in the nation right now! Can I get a Roll Tide, Roll?)
Having a late-night, Sunday-crushing Saturday isn’t just my problem. Many different times of social events and activities keep folks up late on Saturdays. For all of us, getting up early on Sundays (especially rainy or snowy Sundays) is difficult.
Preparing to meet God at a Sunday morning worship service requires intentional choices like getting enough sleep so that your mind is clear and focused. Here are some ways you can prepare to meet the Lord tomorrow (or next Sunday):
- If possible, get a full night’s rest (kids sometimes throw a wrench in the system–just do what is within your power)
- Read the Bible and/or pray before turning the light off–nothing big, just enough to reorient your mind before you go to sleep
- Then on Sunday… pray before you leave the house
- Listen to God-honoring and praise-themed songs in your car on your way to the worship gathering (or drive in silence and meditate)
- Pray before you get out of your car
- Pray as you walk up to the church building
- As you shake hands and give hugs to your brothers and sisters, ask them to tell you one way they encountered God this week
- Pray for your pastor as he walks up to preach, pray that the Spirit opens your heart
- Bring your journal and take notes during the sermon so you can apply the Word during the week and discuss it over lunch with your family or those you go out to eat with
What about you?
What would you add to this list? What helps you prepare to meet the Lord?
Adam Feldman is pastor at Metanoia Church in Ellicott City, Md. Subscribe to his blog at www.adamlfeldman.com.