Prayer has been a fundamental component of the Christian life and worship since the disciples asked Jesus, “Lord, teach us to pray.” Believers give thanks for their daily meals, confess their sins and ask for forgiveness, intercede for their spouses and children, pray for the healing of the sick, ask God to protect missionaries, pray for the needs of the world, and request the intervention of God’s Spirit for the lost.
Articles in this issue:
An encounter between God’s people and the living God is the very essence of worship. Here are some tips to help worship leaders lead God’s people in prayer.
Sharon Bandstra (top) is a worship planner at Terrace Christian Reformed Church, Terrace, British Columbia, where, until recently, Alisa Siebenga was a member of the worship committee. Alisa now lives in Lacombe, Alberta.
According to the Revised Common Lectionary, most of the Sundays from September through November fall under the general heading “Ordinary Time.” This designation is not meant to imply that these weeks represent an unimportant part of the Christian year. In fact, quite the opposite is true. Ordinary Time is a valuable reminder that the Christian life is an everyday vocation and is not reserved simply for special occasions.
“Praying for All God’s People” was submitted by Fred D. Rietema, Chief Chaplain at the Veterans Affairs Puget Sound Health Care System, Seattle, Washington. It is reprinted by permission from That All May Worship: An Interfaith Welcome to People with Disabilities, produced by The National Organization on Disability, 910 16th St. NW, Suite 600, Washington DC 20006, (202) 293-5960.
The service “Building Community Through Prayer” was submitted by Sandy Boersma, worship committee chair of the Brookfield (Wisconsin) Christian Reformed Church.
The gospel came to us as a potted plant. We have to break the pot and set the plant in our own soil.
— D. T. Niles
Not long ago I asked a group to identifiy distinguishing marks of Reformed worship. “A unison prayer of confession,” one of them responded. Actually, we have not had a spoken unison prayer of confession for very long. Before the invention of the mimeograph, spoken, unison prayers were not possible. In fact, there was no such thing as a worship bulletin.
“Should we include a prayer for illumination in the liturgy? Or should we leave it out this week?”
When I went to church with my parents in the late fifties, the sermon was about two peppermints long. I didn’t get peppermints during the prayer following the sermon. Hence the insufferable loooong prayer. My childhood is past; the long prayer is not. Just ask the children in church.