Accept my freewill offerings of praise, O LORD, and teach me your rules. (Psalm 119:108)
This sentence, though simple, can be used as a profound prayer for us as we walk into church. It gets to the heart of why the Sunday gathering matters: it’s an environment where worship and the Word are the priority. It also teaches us what our posture should be in that environment—one of responsiveness and receptivity.
Therefore this verse ought to shape how we pray for what happens at church this week. Let’s examine it more closely.
First, consider our level of responsiveness in worship. Look at how the psalmist describes his praise as a “freewill offering.” This means that it is willingly given. It doesn’t have to be conjured up or contrived. No, he has come ready to worship. In fact, it is his most basic impulse to do so. This should lead us to ask ourselves, Am I the kind of person who is responsive to God’s presence? Do I readily worship Him when I walk into church, or am I reluctant or perhaps unwilling to express worship?
Notice also that the psalmist asks God, “Accept my freewill offering.” When we utter this prayer by faith in Christ, we know perfectly well how it will be answered. The author of Hebrews gives such assurance by reminding us that we enter into God’s presence through Jesus:
“Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith…” (Hebrews 10:19–22)
The knowledge that our worship is acceptable to God through Jesus Christ ought to stir our hearts. What greater motivation do we need to enter into His presence in a posture of fresh responsiveness?
Second, consider our receptivity to the Word. The psalmist longs to be taught by God. He enters into His presence not only to offer something, but also to receive something—the life-giving instruction of God’s Word. In fact, that’s what Psalm 119 is all about! For one-hundred and seventy-six verses, the psalmist expounds upon his deep longing to know God’s ways, will, and wisdom through the Scriptures. Author Kevin DeYoung says of this psalm, “It’s the longest chapter in the longest book in the longest half of a very long collection of books. Out of 1,189 chapters scattered across 66 books written over the course of two millennia, Psalm 119 is the longest.”
Isn’t it telling that the longest chapter in the entire Bible is devoted to esteeming God’s Word? Shouldn’t that clue us into what kind of posture we ought to have toward the ministry of the Word? Therefore, we must long for God to speak when we gather. So ask yourself, Am I teachable? Am I truly receptive to God’s Word? Do I listen on Sundays with eager anticipation of what God wants to say to me?
As we walk into church this Sunday, let’s come to offer praise to God and to receive the instruction of His Word, just as the psalmist would if he were joining us. Let’s demonstrate our worship in any way we can—lifted hands, heartfelt singing, joyful serving, attentive listening, etc. Such faithful demonstrations, however, are best activated through prayer. So let’s begin with a simple prayer of faith in Jesus: Lord, accept my freewill offerings of praise and teach me from Your Word this Sunday.
Set List for Sunday, November 19, 2017:
Worthy Of Your Name by Passion (B. Brown, S. Curran, B. Younker)
I Stand Amazed (How Marvelous) by Passion (C. H. Gabriel, C. Tomlin)
Come Thou Fount (R. Robinson, J. Wyeth)
O Come to The Altar by Elevation Worship (M. Brock, C. Brown, S. Furtick, W. Joye)
Man Of Sorrows by Hillsong Worship (B. Ligertwood, M. Crocker)
You can also listen to a playlist of LifePoint’s current song rotation on Spotify.