Planning Sunday’s worship services, I have been contemplating and fleshing out an important understanding of communicating with God during our times of worship together. Often worship leaders “invite the presence of God into the space”. As I sought this out in scripture, I’ve noticed two things. First, God is omnipresent, meaning that the presence of the Lord is everywhere at once. (Isaiah 66:1-2, Jeremiah 23:23-24, Job 38:19-20, 32-33, Psalm 11:4-5) Second, and possibly more poignantly, Jesus promises that “...where two or three are gathered in my name, there I am among them” (Matthew 18:20 ESV). So God is already present in our times of worship. We don’t need to beg and plead for him to be where He is already.
There is something that we can do when we come together. We can ask Him to speak. God is already moving in our worship time, He is the one that has gathered His people together to begin with. But asking the Lord to speak is a response to His collection of the saints and a declaration that we are ready and willing to listen to His word and will. Like Samuel, when we know the presence of God is moving we call out, “...Speak, for your servant is listening” (1 Samuel 3:10b ESV).
When God speaks we then need to listen and be moved. If we call for God to speak but His words fall on deaf ears as we refuse to change and respond, we are in no better place than the people of Israel as they emptily worshipped both the Lord God and the gods of the surrounding nations. When we hear and feel God speaking in our worship, our response should sound like that of another great prophet, Isaiah, who responded to his call saying, “...Here am I. Send me!” (Isaiah 6:8b) Did God speak into your heart during our worship (in song, in meditations, in scripture, in preaching)? Where are you being sent?