We gather in our church buildings today and, Lord, we do not wish to be improved by you – no, we are desperate to be transformed. We do not ask to be excited for an hour for Your Kingdom, we pray instead that we will be broken and turn loose of our own kingdoms. We love Your children but we cannot gather merely to enjoy the family of God today; Father, we cannot be satisfied unless we meet with the Head of our family and experience His presence in transformational nearness.
Lord Jesus, some will come to be critics today as if Your house of worship and prayer were a consumer’s market that is established to suit their personal tastes – please withhold from them what they inwardly presume to be given if it has its root in selfishness. Please do not reward their low aims. Others will arrive broken and desperate for You, scarcely noticing the transient issues – please grant unto them the groanings of their hearts and show Yourself to be the attentive Savior who honors all holy desires in us. Please make me a citizen of the latter group so that my focus rests upon you today instead of my own preferences in the church where I worship and serve. Apart from You, Lord Jesus, I could easily make today’s gatherings all about me. So blind me to silly intrusions, petty distractions and interrupting obstacles that do not serve Your purposes. Let me look up today and help others to do the same. Your throne is glorious and not at eye level so please lift our thirsts on high so that they may be met by You.
Holy Spirit, please prepare us before we arrive at the place of our gathering today. Some will come and their hearts would declare that they do not mind if You are also in the house, but Your attendance is not really essential to the worship hour in their minds. You have become an incidental issue, a Sunday morning afterthought to them. Though this grieves You, please show mercy as many would also say that they are looking for You to show up in power, overwhelming the natural with the spiritual. Holy Spirit, there are so many of us who are so deeply longing for Your nearness that we will be wrecked if You are not among us today. Please favor that seeking remnant and satisfy our thirsts – we are desperate for You. Forbid that another Sunday passes which allows the reinforcement of the poor belief that You are a disengaged or disinterested God. You told us that, if we will draw near to You, You will draw near to us. We are drawing near. Join us today and put on display Your grandeur. People have forgotten what it is to encounter You. Mercifully remind us all this Lord’s Day. We look to You for an encounter today.