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.
Articles in this issue:
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.
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.