"Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs." Psalms 100:2 NIV
There are times when we come to church we don't feel so glad. Our hearts weighed down with troubles. Honestly, we feel more like weeping. Yet, our souls lead us to church, telling us this hospital for wounded souls like ours is where we need to be. Something begins to stir in us with the opening chords of the prelude. Perhaps midway through the first hymn, our heart begins to lighten, and we are glad we came. We are gathered here in fellowship with other hurting people to worship God.
While all the songs we sing may not be joyful -- for example, The Old Rugged Cross -- they are forever hopeful. In the pain of the writer's words, the songs speak to us of our own pain and remind us of the promise found in Jesus Christ. In that hope, we experience the healing ointment for our anguish. It is in his healing power we find joy and in this gladness that we worship. God knows we are broken, damaged, and hurting and desires us anyway.
Loving and compassionate God, we are thankful for your touch. We are grateful for the hymns that speak of your healing. Lord, as we come into your house today and lift our voices in song, heal our broken hearts. Wipe away our distress, and renew our gladness in you. Help our hearts give you the praise you rightfully deserve. We pray this in Jesus' name.