Monthly Archives: July 2008

Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of Creation

Probably my favourite hymn that I’ve been introduced to at St. Helen’s is Praise to the Lord:

Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation!
O my soul, praise him, for he is your health and salvation!
Come all who hear:
brothers and sisters draw near,
praise him in glad adoration!

Praise to the Lord, above all things so mightily reigning
keeping us safe at his side, and so gently sustaining.
Have you not seen:
All you have needed has been
met by his gracious ordaining?

Praise to the Lord, who shall prosper our work and defend us;
surely his goodness and mercy shall daily attend us.
Ponder anew
what the Almighty can do,
who with his love will befriend us.

Praise to the Lord – O let all that is in me adore him!
All that has life and breath, come now with praises before him!
Let the ‘Amen’
sound from his people again,
gladly with praise we adore him!

I love the way this song links the power of the Creator with his care for his children, enjoining us to ‘Ponder anew / what the Almighty can do / if with his love he befriend thee’.

There have been several weekends where it has been real joy to spend time enjoying God’s creation and to return to church on a Sunday evening to praise with my brothers and sisters the living God, the King of Creation.

And as I look back over a year living in London, I am amazed and thankful for God for the way he has amply met all my needs by his ‘gracious ordaining’.

We sing it with a slight lilt, like this recording of the hymn from a Mars Hill band, but more upbeat.

My prayer for this week is that my worship would be acceptable to him:

Praise to the Lord, O let all that is in me adore him!
All that has life and breath, come now with praises before him!
Let the ‘Amen’
sound from his people again,
gladly with praise we adore him!

Advertisements

Prayer on the internet

I’ve been following the prayer requests made at WeTheChurch.org on Twitter over the past few months. People go to the WeTheChurch website and anonymously submit either requests for prayer or praise which are then published on the site, and to their Twitter account.

I was skeptical about the quality of prayer this would produce, and only signed up out of curiosity, but I’ve been fairly impressed. There certainly are plenty of selfish prayers, but the majority of the prayers I have seen have been people thanking God or expressing deep desires for others’ spiritual, physical and mental health.

Most of the praise points concern various physical and relational blessings where God’s provision is felt, but there also lots of prayers that praise God’s character:

All glory be to you Lord, for you are the head over all! Thank you for loving us, and walking with us every moment of our lives!

As I’ve read through the prayer requests, I’ve been struck by how many of the more selfish prayers (I use the term selfish loosely) are about work. 13 of the 100 prayers on the front page mention ‘job’ or ‘work’. Here’s a sampling:

NEED a full-time job. Please pray for God’s blessing. Thank you.

On Monday I have THE most important job interview of my life! Please pray for me.

I made the cut for the final 3 for a new job. Thank you, God! Please let me be the final 1 now!

Thank you, God, for a possible job for July.

From what I’ve seen work-related requests comfortably outnumber any other category of personal petitions, including relationship with God, relationships with people and health.

Made me wonder whether in my life and in my advice to others I am giving work the respect it deserves. I know from a short time being unemployed how difficult and depressing it can be to be out of work. However, I think I probably focus too much on the Genesis curse side of work than the pre-Fall created-to-work idea.

When we are talking about wise places to work, or wise careers to follow, do we need to take care that we are not making the options too black and white?