What does it mean to “press in” to the presence of God during Praise and Worship and how do we do it?
I believe the answer to this question is found in this very familiar passage,
“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” Matthew 6:33 (NKJV).
It is pretty common to associate this scripture with the offering portion of the church service, but in many ways the concept of this scripture is also related to the act of worshiping the Lord. Pressing into His presence during praise and worship is about the singular focus of setting our hearts and minds on Him and Him alone. This scripture commands us to make God our first priority by instructing us to “...seek first the kingdom of God...”
Unfortunately, it is far easier to get our bodies inside the church building than it is our minds. For most of us, it is a natural struggle to be fully present (mind, body and spirit) in the same place. Our “spirit is willing” (Matthew 26:41) and always ready to praise and worship the Lord, but our hearts, mind and body (the flesh) often have to be forced into submission in order to participate.
In 1 Corinthians 9:27 (NLT), Paul writes, “I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should.”
This statement by Paul is the Dictionary.com definition for the word “press”; “to move or cause to move into a position of contact with something by exerting continuous physical force”.
Therefore, in the spiritual sense, to press into the presence of Lord, we may have to forcibly lay down our mental and physical agendas, submit to the Spirit and give God our full attention. Pressing in frees us to enter into praise and worship without any baggage or hindrances.
It is no secret that most of us come into the presence of the Lord during praise and worship with heavy hearts, however, we have to lay aside the affairs of the morning, the night before, earlier in the week and even the “what ifs” that might occur after the service is over, so that we can fully focus on the Lord. Instead of allowing those things to steal our worship, we must bring our hearts and minds into submission and put on a “garment of praise” (Isaiah 61:3). We must give the Lord all that He deserves, make Him the priority, focus our energy and attention on Him and trust Him to take care of the things that concern us.
Today, I want to encourage you to spend some time reading Matthew 6:30-34, it will give you more insight as to why and how you can and should press into the presence of the Lord during praise and worship.