“Transforming Worship”

I’ve spent considerable time this year reading about and reflecting on worship.  Accordingly, I just read In God’s Presence, by N. Graham Standish (The Alban Institute, 2010).  Graham is the pastor who encouraged me and my wife at the recent pastor and spouse spiritual retreat.  And now I seek to keep learning from him by reading his books.  In this book, Graham promotes what he calls “integrated worship.”  As he writes, “Integrated worship brings together ancient, classic, contemporary and experimental traditions. The key question is always, what will lead people to experience and encounter the Holy” (p. 126).  I like his approach.  The question is not traditional vs. contemporary worship styles, but what kind of worship is the Lord calling us to as a local church.  Accordingly, I invite you to pray for the worship leaders of this church, as we seek to discern God’s will regarding the worship ministry.  In fact, I invite you to pray the following prayer for the worship ministry of the local church:

Holy Spirit, Christ, Creator, I want to worship you, . . . we want to worship you.  Even more we want to experience you so that through our experiences we can give our whole selves to you.  Help me be a catalyst for leading others to encounter you in worship.  And let my reading and reflections lead me to discover your calling to create a holy space in worship where all people can encounter, experience, and embrace you.  In Christ’s holy name I pray. Amen.  (Standish, 7)

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