Preaching and Prayer in Worship

 When the disciples came together to worship God in the first century, two of the public acts of worship they engaged in were teaching and prayer.Preaching is a critical aspect of our worship. 1 Corinthians 1:21 states, "For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe." This teaching has to be based on scripture since "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works" (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Failure to teach the scripture results in being lost since "9 Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: for he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds." (2 John 1:9-11) If we are not teaching the doctrines of Christ, then we are teaching the doctrines of men. Christ comments on this in Matthew 15:8-9 when He quotes Isaiah saying, "This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. 9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men."

When we pray in the public worship, we the many are praying as one. It is a unifying act of worship as we as one approach the throne of God. Our public prayer should show reverence (we are speaking to the creator and ultimate authority and power) and fervency since we are told in James 5:16 that the effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. Our public prayers should address our public needs. This is a time when the focus is not all about "me" but on the needs of us as a family. We should not expect God to supply these needs if we do not ask Him (James 4:2). Finally, our public prayers should acknowledge the blessings that we have received. James 1:17 states, "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning."

 We can see from the above that those of us who lead in the acts of teaching and praying in public worship have a great responsibility. As such, we should take seriously the responsibilities of leading in acts of public worship. It should never be considered a burden but an honor.


Charles Royal, Decatur AL