Don’t Put Thoughts of the World Out of Your Mind During Worship – Please!

I often hear people say to the people in the church, or in prayers, that we should put the thoughts of the world out of our minds and concentrate on Christ.

There’s a problem with this.

Worship isn’t just for Sunday. It isn’t just for remembering Christ, although that is a big part of it. Worship is to bring glory to God, and for encouraging others in their faith, as well as building up our faith.

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up as you are already doing.  I Thessalonians 5:1

…not staying away from our worship meetings, as some habitually do, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day drawing near. Hebrews 10:25

During communion recently, I was overcome with emotion thinking of something recently that had happened. I thought of how Jesus took this thing that was overwhelming me, and he had bore it on the cross:

Yet He Himself bore our sicknesses, and He carried our pains; but we in turn regarded Him stricken, struck down by God, and afflicted. Isaiah 53:4

If you put things of the world out of your mind during communion, it will take away its power. Remembering Christ’s death also remembers that what he did then makes a difference now.

So, don’t worry if you can’t put away a problem you are worrying about away during communion. Instead, think of how Christ’s death took on that problem. He conquered death and sin, and he overcame. He rose from the death. He is a conqueror.

You, too, can think of how what is overwhelming you has been carried already by Christ. Thinking of how he carried all of those overwhelming problems, pains, and sicknesses will help you to see why he was sweating so profusely in the garden that his blood vessels were breaking.

The problems he carried were greater than we will ever know or fathom. And, for that, our gratitude will be as overwhelming as our problems, pains, and sicknesses.

Think about it. It’s OK.

Each Day’s Trouble

Jesus said:

Therefore don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (Holman Christian Standard Bible – Matthew 6:34)

This statement is very true.

Some days it feels more like it than others, though.

When things are going well, or you are in a deep routine and life seems to go on and on the same way, it may not seem that each day has enough trouble of its own.

Then you get hit with something that is overwhelming.

One song that has given me great comfort in a recent family crisis is the one by Casting Crowns:

Just Be Held by Casting Crowns

Words to songs with deep meaning can help you through a difficult time.

Another thing I have found so very helpful during this time is just talking with friends. Seek out friends who have been through what you have been through.

Also, if you have been through something, reach out to someone who is going through what you have been through. It helps to know when you are going through a crisis that someone else has gone through it and made it to the other side. Or even if the result wasn’t so great to know that someone else understands.

When life is difficult, it is often not the big things that help as much as the ones that may seem little.

Listening to someone is one of the greatest gifts you can give them.

Perhaps that’s why Paul often talked about how he thanked God for people he wrote to:

I Corinthians 1:4

I Thessalonians 1:2

Romans 1:8

Ephesians 1:16

Colossians 1:3

Philemon 1:4

Don’t think that just being there and listening isn’t important to your friend in a crisis. It’s the best gift you can give.

Prayer for Peace

Father,

Today, please bring peace…

  • to those who are hurting in body
  • to those who are hurting in their emotions
  • to those who are scared because the world is difficult to understand
  • to those who don’t feel loved
  • to those who have had family leave them, or they have had to leave due to choices not of their own
  • to the person who feels misunderstood
  • to the one who feels inadequate
  • to the one who doesn’t know where to turn
  • to those in the busy city
  • to those in the slow nursing home
  • to those who feel no peace.

Peace, not as the world gives, but as you give.

We need your peace desperately, and we are asking for that peace for us, for our city, for our state, for our country, for the countries of the world.

Through Jesus,

the Prince of Peace