"Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me" (Matthew 15:7-8)
I want to talk to you about mental distractions during prayer and worship, especially in the house of God. Jesus called people hypocrites who came into His presence mouthing words of praise, but whose minds and hearts were preoccupied. He spoke directly to them, saying, "You give Me your mouth and your lips but your mind is somewhere else. Your heart is nowhere near Me!"
What about you? Most likely, you are present in God's house for an hour every week. Your body is in church but where is your mind? Your mouth says, "I worship You, Lord," but is your heart a thousand miles away? Where do your thoughts take you during worship and praise?
Do you become preoccupied with family concerns or a business matter that's been hounding you? How distracted do you get during that hour in church as the congregation draws near to God's majesty?
It is dangerous to come into God’s house and enter into His presence lightly. “Then Moses said unto Aaron, This is it that the Lord spake, saying, I will be sanctified in them that come nigh me, and before all the people I will be glorified” (Leviticus 10:3). The Lord said to Aaron, “I will not be treated as an ordinary person. If you’re going to come into My presence, you must come before Me sanctified. All who approach My holiness must do so with carefulness and thoughtfulness because of My glory and majesty.”
If your heart is not engaged during worship and your thoughts are not captive to the obedience of Christ, you might as well put a straw man in your seat. At least that is more honest than coming into God’s house with no mind and no heart.
The reason many Christians do not worship with power, excitement and zeal is because they have no intimacy with Jesus at home. Those who have learned to worship and focus privately bring their own fire — a fire ignited in the secret closet of prayer. True worshipers can’t wait to get to church to praise the Lord among His people.