author has assembled the calls to worship that were used in his local
congregation over the course of several years. Some are exhortations to the
worshippers; some are opening prayers; but all come from a desire to prepare
worshippers to worship our awesome and loving Heavenly Father.
One of the most evident and characteristic traits of a godly Christian
community is that of thanksgiving. We cannot breathe without receiving
multiple gifts from our Father, and so we should not breathe without
When we thank the Father, we do not thank Him simply for things which appear
good to us; we thank Him for what He gives. In the book of Ephesians, Paul
mentions that we are to be "giving thanks always for all things."
Giving thanks involves much more than simply "not verbalizing our
complaints." It means thanking God expressly for whatever He gives.
We have had an extraordinarily wet spring. If this has been the cause of any
discontent, then confess your sin before entering His gates . . . recall we
are to enter His gates with THANKSGIVING.
Present to Him your requests and needs, the desire for sunshine included, but
in the meantime THANK God for all His gifts. As the psalmist says to the Lord:
You visit the earth and water it,
You greatly enrich it;
The river of God is full of water;
You provide their grain,
For so You have prepared it. Psalm 65:9
- Douglas Wilson in EXHORTATIONS: A CALL TO MATURITY IN WORSHIP, Charles
Nolan Publishers, 2000, p. 222.
[Well, that should help fine-tune my Thanksgiving prayers.]
Director, Institute for Christian Worship
School of Church Music and Worship
Southern Baptist Theological Seminary