Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – January 13, 2015
Worship = School of Prayer
As we have talked and thought about prayer the past few days, praying can be described in many different ways. Today we’ll talk about a additional way of describing prayer.
Have you ever thought about how worship informs us about prayer? Teaches us, mentors us? Worship is another big boost to prayer.
Yes, worship is often a big production, in many assemblies and religious settings in the United States. Many parts to worship, and not necessarily all quiet, peaceful, serene. Some parts of worship can be downright loud, or noisy, or even strident. We—the congregation, choir, and minister—perform our true and meaningful worship of God. No matter how loud or soft, no matter how many or how few people take part in the worship service, God is glorified. And, we are changed.
As Rev. Howell says, “In worship we offer ourselves and what we have to God. In worship we are even transformed into people we would never be had we not come.”  Week in and week out, our worship and our praying so often become inextricably intertwined. In and of myself, I know I am prideful, selfish, and mean-spirited, at heart. I have other faults and places I fall short, too. These attitudes and ways of being are barriers to true communication with God.
What on earth can I do about this dreadful situation I find myself in? Yes, I can pray alone. That sometimes—even often gets me into God’s presence. But what about a booster shot, or some kind of focus for the prayer? Instead of individual prayer, why can’t we transform it into corporate prayer? Instead of individual worship, we do the same, and transform it into corporate worship.
So, instead of merely observing my weekly worship service, sitting on the sidelines, I can get involved. I can worship God with others. We all can humbly offer our weekly worship to God. And as we gather together week after week, we may be surprised to find that God shows up, too. So often, worship is a concentrated lens for us to become more focused in prayer.
Weekly prayer. Regular prayer. Corporate prayer informs our individual prayer times, enabling us to pray alone with more facility, openness and faithfulness. Not to mention caring, encouragement, support and love. A great addition to the school of prayer, indeed. Thanks, God.
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Why not visit my sister blog, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.
(also published at www.matterofprayer.net
 James C. Howell, The Beautiful Work of Learning to Pray, Abingdon Press (Nashville, TN: 2003), 47.