Jesus entered the temple area and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. “It is written,” he said to them, ” ‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it a ‘den of robbers.'”

Matthew 21:12-13 (NIV) Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society

How much time does your congregation spend in corporate prayer? If there were a “prayer-clock” in your worship service, how much time would be on it when last “amen” is said? I must confess that I’m not sure my congregation would register much prayer-time. But I think we probably do more than many. Though it isn’t long, we do set aside a time for prayer.

Perhaps, prayer isn’t as big of a priority for us as it was for Jesus. He seems to have made a big deal out of it. After all, his followers asked of him, “Teach us to pray.” Today we might ask Jesus, “Teach us to preach,” or, “Teach us to sing.”

I am not suggesting that we all stand until our feet get numb for a long-winded deacon to mumble into a microphone for ten minutes. What I am talking about is a real experience of communion with the Holy Spirit. That is where music can come in. Many of the songs we sing are prayers. We must help our people realize that when they are singing, they are actually praying. Don’t let your congregation mindlessly sing through a beautiful hymn or chorus of prayer and praise. Call the words to their attention. You might even introduce the song by saying, “Would you pray this with me?”

You might also read the words aloud (or at least part). As a call to worship, read aloud:

Come Thou Almighty King

Help us Thy Name to sing

Help us to praise

Father all glorious

Over all victorious

Come and reign over us

Ancient of Days

Then sing it.


If you are in a more contemporary setting read aloud:

Holy Spirit You are welcome here

Come flood this place and fill the atmosphere

Your glory God is what our hearts long for

To be overcome by Your Presence Lord

CCLI Song # 6087919 Bryan Torwalt | Katie Torwalt © 2011 Capitol CMG Genesis (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing) Jesus Culture Music (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing) For use solely with the SongSelect® Terms of Use. All rights reserved.