I was recently listening to one my favorite writers and speakers, C.J. Mahaney on the topic of learning to apply truth in our lives. He made a great point about why worship at conferences such as the one he was speaking at tend to be so powerful and life changing. It is because people have spent days in concentrated listening to, and study and discussion of deep Biblical and Theological truths. When good music and lyrically rich songs intended to bring God glory are applied to a mind that has been engaged in the Word of God, deep feeling and emotion ensue.
When was the last time you said, “Worship today seemed so dead and lifeless”? If it was recently, go back in time to that same week and ask yourself, “How much time did I spend soaking in the Word of God that week prior to Sunday? How much concentrated time did I spend meditating on Scripture, reading a book about some aspect of Theology, listening to a sermon online?” You’ll probably have to confess, “Not much.”
Take the remainder of this week and commit to reading through two NT epistles and a handful of Psalms each day. Go to Sovereign Grace or Desiring God or your own church website and download (for free!) a sermon of interest and listen to it on your commute to work. Purchase the Valley of Vision in print or even better, in CD form and listen to the prayers of Godly men who have gone before us, praying in rich, Biblical, God centered language. Start your day listening to just a couple on the way to work. Invite several of your church friends to do the same, and see where your heart is when the opening notes for whatever hymn or song that you are to sing sounds this week.
I think you’ll agree with CJ. Thinking deeply about God precedes feeling deep emotions for God in worship.