Hindrances to Worship

“Worship is the believer’s response with all that he is–mind, emotions, will and body–to all that God is and says and does.” writes Warren Wiersbe. 

This definition fits Jesus’ declaration to the Samaritan woman at the well.  “But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.   God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth”  (John 4:23-24). The spirit involves our whole being.  The challenge is that we too often find ourselves fighting various hindrances to a total, complete and undivided response to scriptural worship.  It takes consecration and focus to worship properly.  And the reality is that each of us face certain hindrances to whole-hearted worship. 

 Here are four to consider for today. 

        (1) Distractions Hinder.  There are many things that can distract us—a cute baby or a crying baby. Someones new clothes.  Kids laughing.  Some word said to you before service.  I have seen people clipping their finger nails in worship.  Reading a novel. Sleeping. Texting. Then of course there are trips to the restroom, cell phones ringing and people whispering. Distractions occur.  We must try our best to filter them out. Ignore them. Refuse to dwell on them. And stay focused on God 

        (2) Fatigue Hinders.  There is different kinds of fatigue.  Physical. Mental. Emotional.  Even Spiritual Fatigue.  Sometimes the pressures and problems of life weigh on us heavily and hinder us from spirit  focused worship.  In such cases, prepare as best you can.  Pray for God’s help.  Get enough sleep Saturday night.  Get up early enough Sunday to avoid being rushed. Refuse to let your mind wander.  Decide to leave your problems at home. 

        (3) A Critical Mind Hinders.  If you spend time finding fault with the song leader, announcer, the preacher and those leading prayer and the Lord’s supper, your worship will be greatly diminished. Sure people will make mistakes.  Pitch a song incorrectly.  Misquote a verse.  Misspell a word on the PowerPoint. Mispronounce someones name in the announcements.  Or use poor grammar in a prayer.  We must remember  that we are present to worship God, not critique  the worship leaders.  

        (4) Impatience Hinders.  We live in such a face paced world that is too easy to get in a hurry. To become restless. Fidgety. Impatient.  If we are focused on how many verses of a song are led, how  long the prayers are, and whether the preacher goes “overtime,” our worship will be significantly diminished.   Forget what time it.   Concentrate on worship.  Center your mind on the things of God. 

        Worship takes effort.  It requires focus.  It demands dedication.  God wants our sincere, genuine worship.  Let’s give Him our best!

 —Ken Weliever, The Preacherman


Filed under Worship

13 responses to “Hindrances to Worship

  1. Dyrene Bell

    Thank you for these word of insight and wisdom! We also need to remember that we are only responsible for what we bring to God and the example we are to those who’s journey is behind where we are! May God continue to bless your work!


  2. Charles Wheeler

    Of course it also helps if those leading in the worship service are themselves focused on the worship of God. Too often a prayer becomes a “wish list” and a sermon is a chastisement of “false teachers.” I’ve done plenty of that myself, sadly. However, when prayer is reverent, honest, and open and when sermons are focused on Jesus – His words, His life, & His death – then people tend to be less distracted by other things. Essentially, when Christ is magnified all the distractions seem much smaller by comparison.


  3. This is so on the mark & let me tell you, my toes hurt reading this one. 🙂 I’m bad about getting caught up looking at the babies. I try my best to not pay any attention to them & I’ve gotten better at it. There are times you can’t ignore them like when one starts screaming or a parent is taking a misbehaving kid out, it’s hard to block that out but then you have to do your best to refocus & shut everything out. I have to say, one of my biggest pet peeves is hearing people whispering during services. It’s one thing for someone to ask the person next to them what verse the preacher said or something along those lines but unless there is an emergency, there really aren’t very many conversations that can’t wait until after services are over. Have some respect for the person delivering the sermon or leading the prayer, etc. They put some time & effort into what they are presenting so what message does it send when you can’t suspend your life long enough to listen? Yes, we’ve all been guilty of lots of things that cause you to lose focus. We all need to work harder to maintain focus, myself definitely included.
    Thank you for this particular blog. I think everyone who attends any sort of worship service or Bible class needs to read this.


  4. Steven

    Can I steal this for a sermon on Sunday? 🙂 Great thoughts, Ken.


  5. Mary Nash

    Very good and thought provoking article. Every single thing you named from cute babies, to people going in and out and texting especially or people checking their Facebook is very distracting. Thank you for this article.


  6. Raylord

    nice teaching the inner worship is just exactly dertimines the truth of our worhip so just lets us worshio hin inwardly in truth and express the truth outwardly amen


  7. Ernest Simpson

    What are some of the strategies for overcoming these distractions while we are worshiping God?


  8. Pingback: Managing Distractions During Worship | ThePreachersWord

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