How can we make congregational prayers more .meaningful? Like most pastors and worship leaders I've struggled with that question, searching for ways to make the prayer or prayers of the worship service truly the "prayers of the people."
Articles in this issue:
THE OPENING - LA APERTURA
Prelude (a time to prepare for worship with prayer)
Words of Welcome
Calling on God (from Psalm 104)
May the love of God the Father, the
grace of the Son, and the fellowship
born of the Spirit be among you all.
Que el amor de Dios el Padre, la gracia
del Hip, y la comunidn del Espiritu
permanezcan con todos ustedes.
WE PRAISE GOD WITH JOY
Prelude:"In Thee is Gladness".........................Busarow
"When in Our Music God is Glorified"..................Stanford
"Praise to the Lord"..................................Manz
Choral Call to Worship: "Now With Joyful Exultation" (PH 95:1)
Hymn: "When in Our Music God Is Glorified" (PH 512, RL 508)
Scripture: Colossians 3:1-4,12-16
This service, organized around the six parts of the church year, was led by the junior choir of Park Christian Reformed Church, Holland, Michigan, at the conclusion of their choir season. For each part of the service, one choir member changed the pulpit parament with its appropriate colors and symbols. Others read passages from Scripture or Our World Belongs to God, a contemporary testimony found in the Worship Edition of the new Psalter Hymnal. And both choir and congregation sang songs for that season.
By some ancient arrangement, the entire town of Turtle Lake knew that in the event of a blizzard—October through April—First Church would always have services, no matter what the size of the drifts. The church's central location, people claimed, would allow the hardy and fervent from all congregations to plow through the banks to sanctuary at this one house of worship.
In most Reformed and Presbyterian churches, the typical Sunday morning worship service is a preaching service in which the sermon is regarded as the centerpiece. The Lord's Supper, or communion, is celebrated infrequently—perhaps four to six times a year—and is viewed by the congregation as something of a special occasion. Such occasional celebration is so much a part of the life of Calvinistic churches that it is probably not widely known that Calvin himself favored weekly celebration of communion.
The morning worship service is well under way. God's greeting and his people's praise have already been sounded. Sins have been confessed and forgiven. The order of worship calls for "Profession of Faith and Holy Baptism." We listen and watch expectantly.