Want to beat those Sunday morning distractions?

By on January 18, 2016

I’m convinced that the enemy’s favorite lie as we enter worship is it’s all about me. I even heard a pastor teach that worship is for us – for what God wants to do for us in that moment. How is that worship of God? That’s self-centered, not God-centered. While God, by His abundant mercy and grace, does indeed bless and transform us when we worship Him, if our focus is on self – then what we’re having is a what-are-you-going-to-do-for-me-today time of self-fulfillment. It’s consumer worship. (I’m not finger pointing – speaking from experience here.) And being aware of it is key to victory.


It’s also important to remember that Sunday is supposed to be the corporate response of worship by individuals who seek hard after God during the week. That’s when the important pursuits of God and being His worshiper really happen. Then we can more easily flip the switch from self-centered to God-centered worship.

When it comes to in-the-moment struggles, I loved Nathan Mark’s vulnerability in his guest post last week. (Read it here!) Sharing his struggle to have a “mindset of selflessness” in worship shows how common this struggle is. (Can I get an “Amen!”?) And it also demonstrates how a heart sensitive and obedient to the prompting of the Holy Spirit empowers us to overcome the struggles to achieve worship intimacy with God.

The alternative? To settle for a disconnected “tradition learned by rote” (Isaiah 29:13).

Ironic that some of our biggest struggles on Sunday morning are focused on things that are supposed to be leading us in worship. Right? (Boy, is the enemy cunning!) Tired of that battle? Want to beat those Sunday morning distractions from worship? Here are a few proactive tips that might help:

Begin Sunday mornings (before the service begins) by thanking God for the opportunity to to worship Him that morning and for the promise of His presence. (“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you” James 4:8a.) Pray for a surrendered heart and mind and for strength to fight the enemy’s darts.

Ask Him to help you fight the enemy’s distractions from worship (whether they’re at work, at home, or up front leading worship!) so you can focus on Him alone. Name the distractions and hand them over!

Pray for everyone serving – the pastor, the worship leader, the worship team, the soundtech, etc. Thank God for their faithfulness to serve Him and the time they’ve sacrificed to prepare. Pray that they would do their best. Pray that they would be able to worship God – that He would help them fight the distractions from worship. And pray that they would be filled with God’s wisdom, grace, and blessing as they serve.

Speaking of soundtechs – struggle with yours? Swing by the tech booth on the way to your seat and thank them for serving and tell them you’ll be praying for them (and do). (Realize they usually sacrifice the privilege to worship in order to do their not-so-easy job – serving you.) This will redirect your mind in a healthier direction that doesn’t sabotage your worship. Don’t be afraid to ask (nicely) for seat suggestions that might better fit your sound needs. There can be a wide variance in some rooms.

And pray that God will help you stay focused on the lyrics of songs you don’t know or don’t care for so you can stay engaged in lifting them to Him in worship. Keep it all about Him – not your tastes.

If we’re honest, no Sunday morning time of worship can satisfy everyone’s top choices of songs, singers, keys, transitions, volume, lights, and wardrobe. Plus we all come with our own personal battles that threaten us along the way.

But Jesus – He is here, and He is perfect, and He is worthy.

What powerful truth! Worship intimacy can be ours if we’ll just stop (everything not from God) and seek and surrender to Him all that we are. Help us focus on you, our God!

“My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises!” (Psalm 57:7,KJV)

What are your biggest distractions to worship?


When You Need To Talk Yourself Into Worshiping
How to Avoid Settling for Less in Your Worship Life!
The Need for Tunnel Vision in Our Worship
Why True Worship Requires Your Surrendered Heart
Does your focus get stuck here on your way to worship?
Struggle to worship? You may be thirsty!


A majority of 2015 survey respondents shared the struggle to fight distractions during worship. And that struggle was one of the reasons I wrote the eBook, 4 Keys to Intimate Sunday Morning Worship. Check it out and get it free here!


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  1. brentnz
    January 19, 2016

    Pamela, great message. It’s so true, its all about Jesus and worshipping and praising him. “And the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of his glory and grace.” Lord, help us to worship you – to magnify and glorify you, and praise you for what you have done, am doing, and will do in days to come. Amen.

  2. brentnz
    August 12, 2016

    On Sunday, I have been asked to lead a couple of songs playing guitar and singing with our worship team. I really love to sing and praise God, but not so much playing the guitar and singing. So i really need the Lord’s help to be effective in what i do. I desire that the Holy Spirit would use us as his vessels to witness to others of the grace of Jesus. I know in myself i can do nothing without him. Lord may you be glorified and exalted in the midst of the people. Bless our gifts and talents that you have given us. Like the boy with the fish and loaves, we need your blessing that people can see you as the God who is able to do far more than we could ever imagine. brentnz

    • Pamela Haddix
      August 13, 2016

      Thanks for sharing that, Brent. I pray that playing the guitar won’t distract you from being able to worship or lead. But that God would bless your faithfulness, submission, and willing heart – empowering you as a worship leader as He works in and through you. May He be glorified! (By the way, I know from experience that being prepared musically is KEY to not being distracted as we lead worship. Praying you have the time you need to prepare to play your guitar on Sunday!)

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