For many years my husband and I were both choir directors. So can you imagine how many rehearsals we led? I can’t begin to count them. Now we are part of a praise team at our church which rehearses each week. Why do we rehearse? Because we want to do our best for the real thing.
I’m afraid that many people attend church on Sunday without any preparation. Even if we don’t belong to the praise team or the choir or orchestra, perhaps we should prepare our hearts for the worship service by practicing worship throughout the week. There’s something to be said for being ready for meeting with God together. We can individually rehearse in order to combine our voices and hearts in adoration of our Lord.
And what about practicing godliness (living God’s way) in general? The Psalmist said: “I reflect at night on who you are, O Lord; therefore, I obey your instructions.This is how I spend my life: obeying your commandments” (Psalm 119:55-56, NLT). The NIV puts it this way: “This has been my practice: I obey your precepts” (verse 56).
It has been said often that practice makes perfect. As a piano teacher, I disagree with that. If you keep practicing the same mistakes over and over, you don’t perfect the way you play the piece. I say, “Practice makes permanent.” We need to practice doing things correctly in order to get better at it. That’s true with any skill. And in life in general.
So what am I getting at? Let’s practice praise. And let’s be real. The prophet Ezekiel made a sad comment on the people of his time. He said: “My people come to you, as they usually do, and sit before you to hear your words, but they do not put them into practice. Their mouths speak of love, but their hearts are greedy for unjust gain. Indeed, to them you are nothing more than one who sings love songs with a beautiful voice and plays an instrument well, for they hear your words but do not put them into practice” (Ezekiel 33:31-32, NIV).
On the other hand, let’s practice what the Psalmist does. “I will praise the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live” Psalm 146:2, NIV). “The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him” (Psalm 28:7, NIV).
All of our praise here on earth is a dress rehearsal for our eternal worship in heaven. How is your rehearsal going?
“Words of Praise” from “Singing On”