Sunday, September 19, 2010

A (Broken and Contrite) Heart of Worship

This morning at the Gathering, we spent time in song and prayer through one of my favorite models/methods of coming before the Lord: A.C.T.S.


We read through verses and sang songs that pertained to each section, and it was such a sweet time of intimate worship with my Savior. I am so grateful for the humble leaders who desire for us to have a true heart of worship. So many times we as believers rush into a worship song, say a prayer, and get started with the message, forgetting the state of our hearts and the fact that we are entering into the presence of a HOLY God. Even in my study of Isaiah this week, we are reading about meaningless offerings that the Lord detests. It breaks my heart to think that I too often bring empty words to my Lord...He is worthy of so much more!

We tell ourselves and others that the Lord hears our prayers (which He does), but we must not forget that God desires a broken and contrite heart. And the reality is that God doesn't hear all of our prayers....

"When you spread out your hands in prayer, I will hide my eyes from you; even if you offer many prayers, I will not listen." ~ Isaiah 1:15

Israel had been worshipping with meaningless words and empty hearts, and the Lord refused to listen to their prayers. They had not repented of the sin in their lives and He hid His eyes from them. It really makes me stop and examine my own heart when I approach God in worship/prayer. Is my heart pure enough to approach the God of the universe? Please understand that I realize I am washed in the blood of the Lamb, and am therefore pure before God; it's the only way I have any opportunity to approach the throne of God. But my sin still mars my communication with the Lord. If my heart is not right before the Lord, my songs and prayers are meaningless. I love Psalm 51- we read it this morning and I have been meditating on it today...

"Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love, according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin!

For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment. Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me. Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have broken rejoice.

Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.

Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will return to you. Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, O God of my salvation, and my tongue will sing aloud of your righteousness. O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise.  For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it; you will not be pleased with a burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

Do good to Zion in your good pleasure; build up the walls of Jersualem; then will you delight in right sacrifices, in burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings; then bulls will be offered on your altar." 


1 comment:

  1. I absolutely agree, Erin. :) I posted about worship time as soon as I made it home on Sunday.

    By the way, I throughly enjoyed our time together Sunday for lunch (even if I was out of it).