The service “Building Community Through Prayer” was submitted by Sandy Boersma, worship committee chair of the Brookfield (Wisconsin) Christian Reformed Church.
Articles in this issue:
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.
In crafting a series that explores the richness of the Psalter for the life of prayer, I considered two approaches. The first was to spend one week on each of the main types of prayer in the psalms—for example, lament, songs of praise, enthronement psalms—choosing one psalm from each category to be that type’s model and the focus for the preaching and worship of that week’s service.
John M. Frame. Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Co., 1997. 212 pp. $10.99.
We were a hodgepodge group of volunteers who found ourselves serving on a committee dealing with a huge and complex issue for our church. We varied widely in gifts and temperament. After our leader unexpectedly quit, it was unclear what would happen. Whose vision would prevail?
Prepared by the Psalter Task Force of the Presbyterian Church of Canada. Toronto: Presbyterian Church of Canada, 1995. 354 pp.
I recently spoke at a Christian Growth Conference that had as its theme “Thirst for God.” Three to four hundred “thirsty” people showed up on a Saturday morning to learn how they could satisfy their thirst, and the numbers grew as the day progressed. Many Christians today, it seems, are thirsting for something more than they have found. Tired of learning about God, they want to experience God. And one of the ways they’re seeking to experience God is through prayer—all kinds of prayer: