I was once asked which figure from history, apart from the obvious ones of Jesus and Moses, I would like to meet. I said I would like to meet Richard of Chichester.
You may not had heard of him, but you may know the prayer that has been ascribed to him. Here it is in the beautiful song from Godspell, probably the first place I heard the prayer. (I actually owned a vinyl LP with a cover that looks like this!)
I thought that someone who, supposedly on their deathbed, knowing their time was short on this earth, could pray this prayer must be worth meeting!
Day by day,
Dear Lord, of thee three things I pray:
To see thee more clearly,
Love thee more dearly,
Follow thee more nearly,
Day by Day
And it occurs to me now that surely this is the prayer – and the work – of a disciple of Jesus, of a student-apprentice.
But how can this prayer be answered?
We may say that only God Himself can grant this request, but I think we have a part to play as well. And it is this: worship.
A few days ago, I had just posted a picture-verse to Instagram and Facebook as I do quite often, but I had not taken time to simply worship God – to turn my soul towards Him like some human satellite dish and send Him the love and adoration He so deserves, receiving love and strength for the day back in return. (I could say a lot more about what worship is to me, but now is not the time.)
I justified myself by saying that I was sowing the seeds of the Gospel but he rebuked me gently with these words:
“You can sow all you want, but without worship there will be no fruit.”
I’ve been reading a lot about the fundamental importance of worship lately and this was yet another reminder. It’s not that we worship in order to be fruitful, but the more we worship the more fruitful we will be. It may also require hard work on our part as He directs, but we can work very hard for no result if we don’t make worship a priority.
With worship as a daily priority, Richard’s request will be granted and, as it is, we will find that our clearer vision gives us a way to explain why we believe as we do (1 Peter 3:15), and our love for Him will overflow to those we meet. Finally, following Him more nearly – more closely – will form Him in us, making us more and more like Jesus (2 Corinthians 3:18), not for our own sake, but to draw others to Jesus, too – day by day.