“Grace and peace to you this morning, church.” This is my usual greeting when it is my turn to read the scripture for the call to worship on the Lord’s Day. We typically have three scripture readings and prayers during our corporate gathering. The three prayers that we typically pray are a prayer of adoration (after our call to worship), a prayer of confession (after our Old Testament reading), and a prayer of thanksgiving (prior to our worship though the offering). Over the next few weeks I would like to share an example of what the different types of prayers can look like. Today, I will share our prayer of adoration that was prayed this past Sunday after our call to worship. It is based off of the text that we read from Isaiah 40:1-8.
1 Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.
2 Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,
and cry to her
that her warfare is ended,
that her iniquity is pardoned,
that she has received from the Lord’s hand
double for all her sins.
3 A voice cries:
“In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord;
make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
4 Every valley shall be lifted up,
and every mountain and hill be made low;
the uneven ground shall become level,
and the rough places a plain.
5 And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed,
and all flesh shall see it together,
for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”
6 A voice says, “Cry!”
And I said, “What shall I cry?”
All flesh is grass,
and all its beauty is like the flower of the field.
7 The grass withers, the flower fades
when the breath of the Lord blows on it;
surely the people are grass.
8 The grass withers, the flower fades,
but the word of our God will stand forever.
Here is an example of the call to worship prayer after the selected reading:
“O Lord, how glorious, wonderful, and splendid it is for we, your people, to know that your Word is forever fixed in the heavens; to know that though the grass withers and the flower fades, the Word of our God will stand forever. For it is through your Word that we know your truth. It is through your Word that we know how to please you. It is through the Spirit inspired and Spirit illuminated Word that we come to know you, our God . . . and Christ, our King. We desire to be a people of the Word. We desire to be shaped by your Word. We desire to be moved by your Word. We desire to be comforted by your Word, just as you did for your people through the prophet Isaiah twenty-seven hundred years ago with these words that we just heard.
Today, O Lord, as we prepare our heads and our hearts to worship you through the Word, as you have called us now from the Word, and you have spoken through the reading of your Word, let us all see now and savor the your glory that has been revealed. Change us. Shape us. Move us. Challenge us. Comfort us today as we sing, pray, give, and respond to the preaching of your Word. May our worship bring glory to you through our perfect Mediator, Jesus Christ. For it is in his name that I pray, amen.”
And that’s it. It is pretty simple, yet driven by the text that we read. It is a call from the Word for the people of God to worship our God the way that he deserves through the ordinary means of grace during the service.
Soli Deo Gloria,
Adam B. Burrell