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Sometimes I feel the least “Christian” when I’m on my way to church.
On Sunday morning, getting the entire family in the car – fully clothed and completely clean – is a feat in itself. Let’s not even talk about the state of our hearts. Because crisply-ironed shirts and scrubbed faces can’t cover up the grime of pride and selfishness that always seems to surface on our Sunday morning ride to worship.
- We fight over who wears the blue shirt and who gets stuck with the orange.
- We fight over who’s first out the door.
- We fight over who gets to sit behind Dad in the car.
- We fight over people talking when others are trying to sing.
- We fight over people singing when others are trying to talk.
Then we pour into the church building with a slapped-on smile.
In the off-chance you can relate, I’ll let you in on a secret. About a month ago, I had a “mommy meltdown” over all the meltdowns that were happening on Sunday morning. And I came to the realization that if I wanted to arrive at church with a heart prepared to worship, then worship had to start earlier. For both me and the boys!
Now, each family member picks another person to pray for on the way to church. Our prayers are short and simple, but they help focus our hearts outward instead of inward (James 4:1). And while the boys still fight and pick on each other, they are learning the significance of praying for others as well as how to pray.
Most of the time, the boys choose to pray for their friends at church. But, I also try to encourage them to pray for our church leaders as well – our pastor as he delivers his message, our pastor’s wife who leads in their preschool class, and their Dad who leads in worship.
I’m hopeful that through our prayer times they will understand the great privilege of serving together in a local body of believers. But ultimately, I’m hopeful they will arrive at church wearing a spirit that is ready to worship, rather than frowns and scowls.
What do you do to get to church on time and with a heart prepped for worship? Leave your thoughts in the comments. I think we all could use some new ideas!