Ever had one of those Sundays when you're just not into it? Yesterday was that way for me. I have been dealing with a horrible sinus infection coupled with a deep cough and I felt (and still feel) horrible. I worked this weekend for Eric Law, so I woke up tired. It was advancement day at our church and both children were put in new rooms with new teachers (imagine their apprehension). My heart just wasn't into worship because I had so many other things going on in my head!
God wants true and genuine worshipers. He isn't looking for people who worship Him out of fear, obligation, but out of a loving relationship. We can be tempted to think, 'I'm worshipping. I'm looking at the overhead screens. I'm singing. I'm even clapping my hands!' But those things are not worship either unless they come from the heart. God is not pleased because we show up at the same place every Sunday, put in a certain amount of time, and then go home and do not think about Him until the same time next week. Our hearts have to be connected with what we are doing and we have to be focused on Him, or we are not involved in true praise and worship. In real worship, we cannot give God lip service; we have to give Him our hearts and true worshipers are those who express with their mouths the worship that is in their hearts.
In Matthew 15:7-9, Jesus said, "Admirably and truly did Isaiah prophesy of you when he said: These people draw near me with their mouths and honor me with their lips, but their hearts hold off and are far away from me. Uselessly do they worship me, for they teach as doctrines the commands of men." The last thing I want is for my worship, or prayers, to be useless. So in order for keep them true and authentic, we have to keep our hearts in it.