MOUSEY MOMENT … SEVEN WHOLE DAYS, NOT ONE IN SEVEN!
‘Send us out, in the power of your spirit, to live and work to your praise and glory.’
This prayer, sometimes used towards the end of a church service, reminds us that praise should continue – and not be forgotten – until the congregation arrives at church the following week. While our church services remain ‘paused’ for the time being, & until we find a way to engage in worship together safely, our ‘Sundays’ are being done differently. Our worship & praise takes place at home, either tuning into the Minister’s Online Youtube offerings, or watching ‘Songs of Praise’ on TV, or simply choosing a passage from the Bible & making our own reflections to give us enlightenment for the rest of the week.
But the Church is now at least OPEN for PRIVATE PRAYER & we can rejoice in having a quiet, peaceful sanctuary where we can come to clear our minds of all that worries us & concerns us, where we can share all our joys & sorrows, where we can give praise for all our blessings & be thankful for all that we have been given, in the knowledge that we will be heard. God listens, God is good.
Living and working to God’s glory is our calling and aspiration. We are all called to be disciples ’24/7′. Our worship must reinforce our recognition of daily activity as a valued part of God’s purpose and of our service and praise. A wise spiritual mentor once said, ‘We become what we pray.’ What is true for an individual is also true for a church community. If we are to become a church of whole-life disciples, we must pray for this in our corporate worship, asking God to use all our activities as channels of grace to the world.
We need to do this continually, offering prayers for the work and witness of all worshippers, not just for the minister and family. We may praise and thank God for the different ways in which we experience grace in the world, as well as for the good things that happen within the congregation. We may offer intercession for the challenges faced by congregation members in their daily work, as well as for current world crises or disasters reported by the media. We may think, too, of the witness offered by the church, as well as the witness offered by involvement in the wider community.
The summer months offer us a time of refreshment and renewal; one session comes to an end and another begins. This period offers us all opportunities to pray for the growth and development of the service & services we are able to offer at this time in our local community.
“I will exalt you, my God the King; I will praise your name for ever and ever.
Every day I will praise you and extol your name for ever and ever.
Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; his greatness no-one can fathom.
One generation will commend your works to another; they will tell of your mighty acts.
They will speak of the glorious splendour of your majesty, and I will meditate on your wonderful works.
They will tell of the power of your awesome works, and I will proclaim your great deeds.
They will celebrate your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of your righteousness.
The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love.
The Lord is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made.
All you have made will praise you, O Lord; your saints will extol you.
They will tell of the glory of your kingdom and speak of your might,
so that all men may know of your mighty acts and the glorious splendour of your kingdom.
Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures through all generations.
The Lord is faithful to all his promises and loving towards all he has made.
The Lord upholds all those who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down.
The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food at the proper time.
You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing.
The Lord is righteous in all his ways and loving towards all he has made.
The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.
He fulfils the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them.
The Lord watches over all who love him, but all the wicked he will destroy.
My mouth will speak in praise of the Lord.
Let every creature praise his holy name for ever and ever.”
The key words here are “The Lord is near to all who call on him.” Our prayer time is something we can do any day of the week, any time of the day – seven whole days, not one in seven.