If today is 3/11/2017 you really need to read this article. (More …)
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Through the years many individuals have allowed their public prayers to become repetitive. And while it’s not wrong to include some of the same thoughts each time we pray (1 Timothy 2:1-5, Luke 18:13, as well as the outlined points by Jesus in Matthew 6:9-13 are good examples), if our prayer is nearly verbatim every time we pray on behalf of the congregation then we need to stop and think before we speak.
Am I saying our prayer must have 50 dollar words and a flow that would make the national poetic society become green with envy? No. I’m not talking about impressing people with our prayer. I’m talking about representing people with our prayer.
If you know a family has suffered recently, you could mention them. If a family has received good news recently, you could mention that. If you are familiar with the language that is used in reference to God throughout the Psalms, you could use them in connection to the church in asking for God’s help (High-tower, Shield, Strength, Light and Salvation, etc.). If the congregation supports a missionary, children’s homes or other local evangelistic efforts such as House to House, you could mention them. God has already heard the news, but if there’s a major headline news story that you know has the attention of a large percentage of the congregation, you can mention that situation.
Again, the point isn’t to impress others with our prayer originality or sophisticated sound. The point is to represent those on whose behalf we are praying for, and to simply avoid being so repetitive with our public prayers that the people we are representing know what we’re going say before we even say it.
“Then the king turned around and blessed the whole assembly of Israel, while all the assembly of Israel was standing. And he said: “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, who has fulfilled with His hands what He spoke with His mouth to my father David, saying,…When Solomon had finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the Lord filled the temple.” (2 Chronicles 6:3-4; 7:1)
Parents, what are you doing to help your children engage in singing when it comes to the worship services of the church? Here are a few tips to accomplish this goal:
- Sitting a young child in your lap and using your finger to show them the words that you are singing is a great way to teach your children word association (i.e. helping them learn to read) by engaging their eyes with the words and melody of the song.
- Explain to them the meaning of some of the more complex and deeper meaning words that may be used within a song. This will help to engage their thought process which helps to avoid the emptiness of repetition when it comes to a song that they are familiar with (think “Jesus Loves Me” for example).
- Help them to concentrate by limiting distractions. Many young children, like adults who need to work on their short attention spans, may not be able to understand the point of preaching yet, but singing is something that most children quickly take to when they understand or catch on to the melody.
At the end of the day, parents have a responsibility to teach their child how to worship by example and by instruction. And one area of emphasis, which can be done with the right amount of effort, should be the singing that we offer to God. Singing is something that is delightful to our Creator and it is something that his worshipers should find delight in doing (Hebrews 13:15).
So when we show our children how much singing in worship means to us, it will mean something to them, and then later they will understand what it means to God, but only if we strive to engage them in it.