Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow:
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!
Hosts of major public events often ask pastors to pray invocations at the beginning of the proceedings. An invocation is intended to invoke or invite the presence of God into the event. Do these pastors really believe they can make God come to an event through a public prayer? Hopefully not, because God is already present (Psalm 139:7–12). One of the great truths of the Christian faith is that God wanted to be with us so much that He became one of us (John 1:14). Then He sent His Holy Spirit to dwell in and around us (John 14:15–17).
If these pastors are not inviting God’s presence, then what are they doing? They are praying for God to manifest His presence—to make Himself known. In your corporate and private worship, God wants to manifest His presence. You cannot leave God’s presence, but you can fail to experience His manifest presence.
How can you enter the Lord’s presence? Begin by praising Him because He is worthy of your praise. You will sense His presence in your praises. Don’t wait until you go to a church service, and certainly don’t put off worship until a pastor prays an invocation. Start today by praising God. You will find He has new mercies every morning, and He will be with you no matter what your day brings (Lamentations 3:23).