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Mindful Worship

Tom Pennington • John 4:23-24

  • 2017-08-27 AM
  • Sermons

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Today in preparation for the Lord's Table I want us to turn to John's Gospel; John Chapter 4.

Back in April of 2015, there was an article in the New York Times about a current popular craze. It's often known as "mindfulness." The article in the New York Times goes on to argue that the roots of this craze actually go back to Buddhism. Regardless of where its roots may be, however, the ubiquitous self-help industry in our country saw the chance to make a lot of money and turned out literally dozens of books touting the benefits of "mindfulness." Now if you have no idea what I'm talking about, let me give you one dictionary definition of "mindfulness." It is "a mental state achieved by focusing one's awareness on the present moment while calmly acknowledging and accepting one's feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations; used as a therapeutic technique." That's mindfulness. And if you haven't heard of it, you will because it is still all the rage in both its religious and its secular forms. And we can certainly understand why, can't we? I mean we live in a culture that is perpetually, constantly distracted. If you doubt that, then I challenge you the next time you're in public (maybe at lunch today or sometime this week when you're with a group of people), just lift your eyes and look around you; and notice how many people are glued to their electronic devices, ignoring the people that are with them and the people around them. It is certainly true of our culture that people are never where they are. They're simply never where they are; they're never fully engaged. Distraction is truly a serious problem. And we can admit that it's even a serious problem for us as Christians. But we don't need Buddhism or self-help therapy to fix our distracted lives and our lack of focus. No, the truth is, true believers have long understood the importance of truly living in the moment.

When I was growing up (a long time ago now) I remember many times hearing the quote from the missionary Jim Elliot. Perhaps you've heard it: "Wherever you are, be all there!" You ever heard that? "Wherever you are, be all there!" The quote goes on to say, "Live to the hilt every situation you believe to be the will of God."

Wherever you are, be all there! Now that thought is a great thought, but it wasn't original with Jim Elliot. In fact, its roots go back to God's revelation in both the Old Testament and the New Testament. For example, in the Old Testament, Ecclesiastes 9:10, Solomon puts it this way: "Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might." Wherever you are, be all there! Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might. Or we could go to the New Testament, Colossians 3:23, where Paul writes: "Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men." Whatever you do, do it heartily. Do it with all your might; with all your strength. This is what God expects from us. And yet, distraction is a perpetual reality.

Nowhere is distraction and lack of focus a greater problem for believers than it is when we come together as we have this morning to worship. Nowhere is it a greater problem than here. You see, you and I were hard-wired to worship. You were made to worship. God redeemed you to worship Him now and forever. That's why we exist. But not everything that claims to be worship is in fact true worship. It gets more complicated because not even all that claims to be worship of the one true God is true worship. If you want to see that this afternoon, go back to Leviticus Chapter 10 and read the story of Aaron's sons, Nadab and Abihu, and be reminded of the fact that they intended to worship the true God. And yet God was greatly angered by their worship.

So really the most important question of the morning is this: What is acceptable worship? What is the worship that God receives from us? Well Jesus answers that question in the interchange He has with the Samaritan woman in John Chapter 4. Today I want us to briefly examine just one part of this passage. Let me read it for you. I'll read the larger paragraph in context. Let's start back in Verse 19. Jesus has just brought out the fact of this woman's sin; her sexual sin. And [starting] in Verse 19 the Samaritan woman said to Jesus:

"Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped in this mountain [that is, the Samaritans worshiped there at Mount Gerizim in Samaria], and you people [the Jews] say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship." Jesus said to her, "Woman, believe me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth." The woman said to Him, "I know that Messiah is coming (He who is called Christ). When that One comes, He will declare all things to us." And Jesus said to her, "I who speak to you am He."

What a remarkable passage. In these short verses, Jesus teaches us how to worship God. True worship is obviously the theme of this brief paragraph. John the Apostle in this Gospel of his uses the Greek word for worship eleven times. Nine of those times are in the verses I just read to you. But in just two of the verses we just read, Verses 23 and 24, our Lord really opens up the heart of worship. He teaches us about worship; and in part, Jesus says that true worship must be mindful worship in the truest sense of that expression. As we prepare our hearts for the Lord's Table this morning, I want us to see what Jesus teaches about the issue of worship. And what I want you to do is check yourself; grade yourself. How is your worship? That's the point here. As we walk through this passage, ask yourself, how has your worship been so far this morning? How is it as you sit under the teaching of God's Word?

Let's see what Jesus has to say about mindful worship. Well Jesus begins in these two verses by identifying the two characteristics of true worship. Notice Verse 23, "But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers." Now in the flow of the context here, Jesus is making a contrast. He's contrasting with what's just gone before it. In contrast to worship that is all caught up with external things like the place you worship (that's this woman in Verses 20 and 21); or in contrast to worship that is uninformed and ignorant like Verse 22 (you worship what you don't know); in contrast to that, Verse 23, "an hour is coming and now is." That's John's familiar way, Jesus's familiar way, to talk about what is happening through His life and work. Jesus says, "My work is ushering in a significant change in worship." Worship is no longer going to be about a particular place. And it's no longer going to be without a knowledge of God. Rather, notice what Verse 23 says, "true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth."

Did you notice that Jesus defines a true worshiper simply as a true believer? They're synonymous. Every genuine Christian will worship. True worshipers are believers, and believers are worshipers. So how can you recognize true worshipers? Well the key is that little phrase in Verse 23, and it's repeated again in Verse 24, "in spirit and truth." True worshipers worship like this. In an economy of words, our Lord teaches us volumes about true worship. He unlocks the heart of worship. Now notice first of all that both of those nouns, truth and spirit, are objects of one preposition. He doesn't say "in spirit" and "in truth," as if they're two completely unrelated things. No, by putting them with one preposition, He is saying that these two qualities, these two characteristics, belong together and they cannot be separated. And these two nouns identify for us the two characteristics of acceptable worship. Let's look at them together.

First of all, acceptable worship is worship in truth. Now let me just say that this is really another message for a different time. I really want to focus on the second characteristic this morning. But let me summarize what Jesus meant by this first one, "in truth." In context, in the flow of the passage, when Jesus said our worship must be in truth, He was underscoring several different criteria of biblical worship. Let me just give you the list and you can think about it (go back and meditate on it) through this passage. First of all, if you're going to worship in truth, it means your worship must be directed to the biblical God revealed in Scripture. There is no worship, there's no true worship, if you're directing your worship somewhere else.

Secondly, it must be based on the complete revelation of Scripture. You see, the Samaritans (the woman to whom Jesus is speaking, of course, is a Samaritan) only accepted the first five books of the Old Testament. They refused to embrace the rest of the Old Testament. So they worshiped with an incomplete revelation of God. They didn't know what they worshiped or who they worshiped; that's Jesus' point. We have to worship in truth, and that means our worship is based on the complete revelation of God as contained in the entirety of Scripture.

Thirdly, it's going to be in truth. Our worship must include only the elements that Scripture prescribes. In other words, we don't get to decide (I don't get to decide; you don't get to decide; our church, the elders — we don't get to decide) what we do in worship. God decides what we do in worship. This is called "the regulative principle." Only what Scripture actually prescribes is acceptable in the worship of God. John Calvin put it this way, "God disapproves of all modes of worship not expressly sanctioned by His Word." He disapproves of everything that He doesn't expressly sanction in His Word. The Westminster Confession of Faith and the Second London Baptist Confession of 1689 are identical on this. Listen to what they write, "The acceptable way of worshiping the true God is instituted by Himself, and so limited by His own revealed will [that is the Scripture], that He may not be worshiped according to the imaginations and devices of men…or any other way not prescribed in the Holy Scripture." Now how do we learn that? Well, we learn that throughout Scripture, but it starts (doesn't it?) with the patriarchs in Genesis. And it really comes to fruition in the second of the Ten Commandments. You don't get to decide how you worship. God decides how you worship. And that's true of us collectively together. Do you understand that what we do when we gather to worship — I didn't decide what we do; the elders of this church didn't decide what we do. God decided what we do. The regulative principle asks this question, "Does Scripture command or sanction this practice in corporate worship?" If not, it's not allowed in worship.

So what are the elements of corporate worship? There are seven. And I'm going to list them for you because many of you are from churches outside of ours. You've come here, and these are things you've never heard; these are new concepts to you. Let me just give them to you. There are seven prescribed elements of corporate worship in Scripture. This is where the church has historically been — this isn't new stuff; I didn't invent this; the elders didn't come up with this — this is what the church has always done. Seven prescribed elements. First of all, we sing the Scripture. That is, we sing music that is rooted in the truth of God's Word. Secondly, we pray the Scripture. We pray in ways that grow out of our response to the Scripture. Thirdly, we give our offerings to see the true Scriptural worship supported in this place and extended through evangelism and church planting around the world. Number four, we read the Scripture. Number five, we teach the Scripture; we sit under the teaching of God's Word. Number six, we see the Scripture acted out in baptism. Do you understand that this baptistery over here is commanded by our Lord? And we do this as a picture of what has happened in a life. And number seven, we see the Scripture acted out as we'll do this morning in the Lord's Table. Paul said, "you proclaim the Lord's death until He comes." It's a picture sermon. Do you understand that God prescribed those elements? That's why we do what we do here. That's why we don't do other things. Some of you have gone to churches in the past where they just decided what they wanted to do and there were other elements beyond these. Listen, that's not worship. Worship is only what God prescribes. And this is what He's prescribed. When you understand that those seven elements are prescribed by God and only those seven elements, it adds great solemnity to what we do here every Sunday; because this is what God, the God of the Universe, demands that we do in worship. But it also adds joy because — do you understand that when we do these seven things here together, and when we do them with the right heart as to the Lord, it brings our God joy? This is worship and it delights His heart as we sing the Word, as we pray the Word, as we read the Word, as we listen to the Word taught as you're doing right now. We are worshiping God in exactly the ways He's commanded and which He has blessed. When we give from our offerings to the Lord as we see His Word acted out in baptism and the Lord's Table, we are truly worshiping God and we know it because He's prescribed it.

Number four, if it's going to be worship in truth, it must be grounded in a life of obedience to Scripture. I wish I had time to take you through this passage and show you how in confronting this woman's sin, Jesus is making this very point to her. But there are other passages that make this point as well. I love 1 Samuel 15:22. Samuel says to Saul, "Has the Lord as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice [external worship], and to heed than the fat of rams." He wasn't downplaying the importance of sacrifice; God commanded that. He was saying, "God is not going to accept your worship if it comes out of a life of disobedience." If you're sitting here this morning and you think you're worshiping, but you are living a life of disobedience to Jesus Christ, you are not worshiping. And God's not listening.

Number five, to be in truth, it must be offered through and centered in Jesus Christ. While the Samaritan's view of the Messiah was severely limited because they only accepted the Pentateuch, they did expect Messiah to come. Notice Verse 25, this woman says, "I know that Messiah is coming (He who is called Christ). When that One comes, He will declare all things to us." This woman was saying that "Jesus, look, what you're telling me may be true, but I know that the Messiah is coming. And when He comes, I'll believe what He says. He will declare everything to us. I'm going to wait to hear from Messiah." She understood. Do you see what she got? She understood. Even though this is a sinful woman living in a pattern of unrepentant sin, she went to external worship at Mount Gerizim there in Samaria and she understood Messiah was coming — that He was the only true mediator between God and men; the One through whom the Father seeks out worshipers. And in response to her words, for the very first time in His ministry, Jesus announced that He was the Messiah. Notice what He says in Verse 26, "Jesus said to her, 'I who speak to you am He'." Have you ever thought about that? The very first time Jesus announces that He is the Messiah, He announces it to this sinful Samaritan woman. Why? Because she was one the Father had sent Him to seek. She comes to faith in Christ; you'll meet this woman in heaven. So in Verse 26, when Jesus says, "I am the Messiah," that's more than a statement of fact. That is an invitation to believe in Him; an invitation to her which she received. If you're here this morning and you don't know Jesus Christ, listen, do you know what He would say to you this morning? He would say, "I am the Messiah. I am the only way you can get to God. I am the One mediator. And it's through what I did that you can know God and have your sins forgiven." That's what He would say to you this morning. And it's still an invitation. But for worship to be acceptable to God, it must be in truth.

For our Lord though, He moves on and identifies a second characteristic of true worship. It's that we must worship in spirit. This is really where I want you to spend some time with me for a moment. Verse 23, "true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit." Now you might first be tempted to think this is talking about the Holy Spirit, and it is true, right? I mean it's true that the Holy Spirit is the One who enables and energizes the worship of every believer. If you have ever truly worshiped God, then it's been because of the work of the Holy Spirit. He has energized and enabled you to do that. For example, Philippians 3:3 says, "we are the true circumcision, who worship in [or through] the Spirit of God." So that's true, but that's not what Jesus is saying here in John 4. In John 4 He is not referring to the Holy Spirit. That's obvious because of the logical connection. Notice what He says, "Because God is spirit, we must worship in spirit." You see the connection He's making? Because of the nature of who God is, we must worship a certain way. In other words, Jesus says each of us must worship in our own spirit. I use the word "must" because that word is found in Verse 24. Notice what it says, "God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth." That Greek word translated "must" there literally means "it is necessary." It is necessary for you to worship God with your spirit.

Now what does Jesus mean? Well again, let's take this apart. When Jesus said that worship must be in spirit, He intended several truths about worship. Number one, acceptable worship is a matter of the heart, not merely external. True worship must flow from the immaterial part of you. By the way, this isn't some new requirement. God has always demanded this of those who come near to worship Him. Go back to Deuteronomy 6:5, the greatest commandment, what does it say? "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might." This is how the faithful have always worshiped, with their spirit; with the immaterial part of them engaged. Go back to the Old Testament. I was telling the elders this morning, Sheil and I have just finished a second hymn on the Scripture that's gone off to do all the arranging and all of that and I'm working now on a third one and it's on Psalm 103, because I love Psalm 103. How does Psalm 103 begin? Psalm 103 begins, "Bless the Lord, O my soul," David says to himself, "and all that is within me, bless His holy Name." Come to the New Testament and you find the same reality. Early in the Gospels you come to Mary's Magnificat in Luke 1:46. And Mary said, "My soul exalts the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior." To worship in spirit means that you worship God in your own spirit; that is, with your whole heart. Worship requires the complete participation of your entire being; not just your body, but your soul, the immaterial part of you. This Samaritan woman understood that her body had to be engaged in worship, that she had to show up at Mount Gerizim. She had to be in the right place. She had to bow at the right times. She had to say the right prayers. She had to make the right sacrifices. But her heart was a million miles from God. She was living in a pattern of unrepentant sin and she was content to do so. And Jesus comes to her and He says, "Listen, it's not enough for your body to show up. You must worship God with your soul."

James Montgomery Boice writes, "True worship occurs only when that part of man, his spirit, which is akin to the divine nature (for God is spirit), actually meets with God and finds itself praising Him for His love, wisdom, beauty, truth, holiness, compassion, mercy, grace, power, and all His other attributes." Superficial, mechanical worship is unacceptable to God. He demands that our worship be an expression of our entire being. Why? Well, the answer is in Verse 24, "God is spirit." That's an amazing statement. Jesus' directive for us to worship Him in spirit is predicated on this huge theological assertion about the being of God. God is spirit. By the way, the Greek construction of that expression shows that Jesus is using the word "spirit" here to refer to the nature or the essence of God. God's essential nature is spirit. What does that mean? Well, you understand that in the universe there are two kinds of existence. There is material, that is matter; and there is immaterial, that is non-matter. God, in His essence, is immaterial. God has none of the properties that belong to matter. God's essence is of the nature of spirit. God is not material. He doesn't have a body. He doesn't have flesh and bones. He is invisible. Therefore, external physical worship is not enough. Look at Verse 24, "God is spirit." And because of that, those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and truth. If you're truly going to worship God, your spirit, the immaterial part of you, must be completely engaged. God is unimpressed that your body showed up here this morning. And if that's all that happened, if your body is just sitting here this morning, it's not worship. You're not worshiping. Don't kid yourself! God will accept nothing less than a fully engaged soul. That's worship.

So much of what professes to be worship in today's world is mere formalism. It's externalism which emphasizes performance rather than the heart. But going through the motions of worship is a cheap substitute for true biblical worship. True worship has to engage the heart. Let's make this very practical. If this morning as you have sat here, or as you have stood here with the rest of us and been involved in the various elements that God has prescribed in worship — if you have let your mind wander, if your mind is wandering now, if you let your mind wander while we sang and you weren't really singing with us (oh, your mouth may have been moving and words may have been coming out of your mouth but your heart wasn't engaged); if when we read the Scripture you were thinking about the next thing on your agenda or something that happened this week, or your latest Facebook post; if while we're sitting here studying the Scripture your mind is drifting off somewhere else, understand this – it's not worship. And God doesn't see it as such. Worship must be in spirit.

Secondly, acceptable worship is wholehearted, not halfhearted. It is enthusiastic, fervent, earnest, animated; it is wholehearted. Again, this is the Old Testament, this is from the very beginning, Deuteronomy 6:5, "love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might." All your might has to be engaged. God finds halfhearted worship offensive. I wish I had time to take you to Malachi Chapter 1, but in Malachi Chapter 1 God gets all over the Israelites for their halfhearted worship. They show up. They bring the sacrifices. But they're content with, you know, animals that have flaws and problems, and they just don't invest themselves fully in their worship. And God is sickened by it. God is offended by it. You know what God says to them? He says, really? Would you do this if you were giving it to the governor? Would you do this if you were giving this to some official? Would you do this to somebody else? God is offended by halfhearted worship. Biblical, acceptable worship is wholehearted. Can we say it another way? It's passionate.

Now listen, I understand that my passionate might be different from your passionate. We all are different people and wired differently. I get that. But ask yourself this question. What animates you the most? What most excites you in this world? Is it music? Is it sports? Baseball? Football? Is it golf? If it's golf I'm really sorry for you, but whatever it is — think about how your passion shows when you're doing that thing that you most enjoy. When you're listening to your favorite song. When you're watching your favorite team. When you're engaged to whatever that thing is. That's you passionate. Okay? That's you passionate. If you're less passionate in your heart (I'm not talking about some sort of dancing, visible displays, although that would be okay too. I'm talking about what's going on in your heart) about worship than you are about that other thing then it's not acceptable worship to God; because what you're saying to God is, "You don't impress me as much as this other thing I enjoy." It has to be wholehearted. It must be in spirit.

Thirdly, acceptable worship is active, not passive. We live in an audience-based culture. Whether it's concerts or sports, movies, television, Netflix-binging, we are accustomed to watching others perform. And often we find ourselves (as you do this morning) sitting with other people, turning off our minds, and being entertained. I love football but, you know, this is football — someone's defined football as a hundred thousand people who desperately need exercise watching twenty-two who desperately need rest. The average person spends more than six hours a day watching something on their screen. Watching. Six hours as a spectator. We do that for six days and then we show up on Sunday, and we sit down in one of these seats and we immediately assume that we are spectators again. In fact, much of what calls itself worship in today's Christian church is nothing more than a spectator sport. It is a mindless form of entertainment, and tragically, many churches and church leaders even cater to that audience mindset and intentionally structure their services as a performance. Understand this, folks. That isn't worship. It isn't worship. And worse, it is offensive to God, because we are so accustomed to being an audience; to being spectators. Even in Bible-teaching churches like ours with a biblical philosophy of ministry; it's easy for even us to come together for corporate worship like we've done this morning, and to come here and never really worship God. You see, in true worship (let me say it as bluntly as I can), God is always the audience. You are not the audience. You're not passing judgment on the choir or Seth's or the orchestra or my performance. God is the audience and He's sitting judgment on your performance. True worship is never passive; it is always active.

Now what does that look like? What does active worship, worship in spirit, look like? Let me just illustrate it for you. Let me let you think about this with me. Here's what it really looks like to worship mindfully. When we sing (as we did already this morning, as we'll do several more times before this service is over), actually sing. That's active. Actually sing. And sing wholeheartedly, passionately, as if you meant what you are singing. Sing from your heart to the Lord. Do you know that's what you're supposed to be doing? You're not just supposed to be mouthing the words. You're supposed to be taking that truth and addressing it to God. Think about the meaning of the lyrics. When we pray, here's what active worship looks like — listen carefully to the one who is leading you in prayer, whether it's me or someone else. Don't allow your mind to wander. Listen, I know I pray long sometimes. My kids get on to me about that. But it doesn't matter. Don't let your mind wander. Pray with the person who is praying in your heart. Pray along with them and affirm those things they're asking to God in your own mind (Yes, Lord; let that be true; let that happen; I need that; I want that). When we give, commit to give regularly, cheerfully, deliberately, intentionally, as you have determined in your heart to give to the Lord. When it comes to our reading of the Word and hearing the Word taught, bring your Bible; and follow along in your Bible; and think about the meaning of the passage with the one who is teaching. Stay mentally engaged. If it helps you, take notes. It's not biblically required but it will help you stay engaged — if that helps, do it. Respond appropriately to the passage being taught — believe it; apply it; obey it; take it home with you and meditate on it throughout the week. When it comes to baptism (here's another prescribed element of worship), obey your Lord and be baptized if you're a follower of Jesus Christ and haven't. And come and support those who are being baptized. And as they're sharing their testimonies, thank God for His work in their lives. And pick one of them, and pray for them and for their spiritual growth in the days ahead. When it comes to the Lord's Table, don't participate if you're not a Christian. Have enough respect for Jesus Christ not to act like you're His follower when you and He both know you're not. And if you are a Christian, but you're unwilling, refusing to give up a particular sin, or you're refusing to be reconciled with a brother or sister in Christ, then don't participate. And as you do participate, think about Christ. Think about Christ in His incarnation, in His substitution, and in His sacrifice for you. And as we're taking of it, express your gratitude, your adoration, your love, your devotion to Jesus Christ; and recommit yourself to follow Jesus Christ as you did at the beginning. True worship is in spirit. It is always active. So there are the two characteristics of true worship. You must worship in spirit and truth.

But that raises a question. Why are any of us worshipers at all? Very briefly I want you to consider a second point Jesus makes here, and that is the one explanation for true worship. Look at Verse 23, "But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth." Now notice this (the end of Verse 23) "for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers." Now don't misunderstand, don't misread this. Jesus is not saying that there are certain people who are spiritual enough in and of themselves to understand that they need to worship this way, and they are doing it, and the Father is searching the planet trying to find them. That's not what's going on here. Instead, Jesus's statement at the end of Verse 23 answers this crucial question: How do we become worshipers? Is it because we seek God? No! It's because in Christ the Father seeks us. Notice the logical flow of Verse 23, "true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth, for [because, for this reason] the Father is seeking such people to worship Him." You fast forward to John Chapter 6 and Jesus and the writer of this Gospel makes that very clear. Jesus says, "No one can come to me except the Father draw him." The Father is the One seeking. He is seeking true worshipers. This is what Jesus is teaching us. The only way to become true worshipers is if God seeks us, and by grace He makes us true worshipers. And the shocking wonder of the ages is that God has done exactly that. And this woman is an example. God came seeking her. And God came seeking you. Jesus was teaching this woman that God is by nature a Savior — a Savior! He seeks out even the worst sinners and makes them His worshipers. How? Through His Son. Look down at Verse 42, "The women of the town there were saying to the woman, 'It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves and know that this One [Jesus] is indeed the Savior [the Rescuer] of the world'."

In the Lord's Table, our worship focuses on Jesus Christ, the One who is indeed the Savior of the world; the One through whom the Father came, seeking you to be a true worshipper. Let's pray together.

Our Father, as we come to the Lord's Table, we come confessing our sins. And we start in response to what we have just heard from our Lord and His Word. Lord, we ask your forgiveness for our distracted, weak, inadequate worship. Lord, forgive us that we have come together as your people to worship, and we have allowed our minds to be a million miles away. Forgive us that we have so disrespected you in the greatness of your Person that we have imagined all of these trivial things are somehow more important than you are. Father, forgive us, cleanse us, and give us hearts of true worshipers, who worship you in spirit and truth. Help us every time we come to worship, whether personally throughout the week or corporately, to worship in the way we've seen this morning. And Father, each of us individually comes to confess our other sins as well. Lord, you know our hearts and every one of us. We know our sins. And now, individually and personally, we lift up those sins of which we are painfully aware and we ask for your cleansing, your forgiveness. We don't want to take of the Lord's Table while we are treasuring, cherishing, some sin in our lives. And so, we confess freely, and we seek your forgiveness. And now, Father, receive our hearts worship as we sing and as we act out our Lord's death through this ordinance that He gave us. We pray in His Name, Amen.