December 7 – Luke 1:8-10. The Worshipers Prayed.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

December 7 – Luke 1:8-10. The Worshipers Prayed.

Once when Zechariah’s division was on duty and he was serving as priest before God, he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to go into the temple of the Lord and burn incense. And when the time for the burning of incense came, all the assembled worshipers were praying outside.

Imagine as the pastor of a church getting up to preach on a Sunday morning, knowing that everyone in the congregation was praying with you.

When I was growing up, Dad always went to the altar as the organist was playing the prelude.  He’d kneel in prayer for several minutes before everything began.  After he began doing this and months progressed, soon more and more people would join him at the altar.  Sometimes they were praying for their own needs, but more often than not, they were praying for the worship service.  Others were still gathering in the foyer, some were chatting quietly with each other in the pews, but before the service had even begun, prayers were being lifted up.

Zechariah had come in to the temple from his home out in the country.  The priest of Abijah’s division was chosen by lot to enter the temple and burn incense – an offering to God.  As the priest of Abijah, it fell to him.

There had to be some sense of anticipation every time a priest went into the temple while people were praying outside.  This time God was going to send an angel to give Zechariah some unexpected news.

What if you were to pray before and during worship every Sunday with an expectation that God was going to deliver some unexpected news?  How would that change your worship experience?