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Essential Elements of Public Worship: Prayer

Public prayer is one of the essential parts of public worship.


I can find no account of religious assemblies in the New Testament in which prayer and supplication do not form a principal business. I find St Paul telling Timothy, ‘I exhort . . . that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men’ (1 Tim. 2:1). Such prayers should be plain and intelligible, that all the worshippers may know what is going on, and be able to go along with him who prays. They should as far as possible be the joint act of all the assembly and not the act of one man’s mind alone. A congregation of professing Christians which only meets to hear a grand sermon, and takes no part or interest in the prayers, seems to me to fall far short of the standard of the New Testament. Public worship does not consist only of hearing.

—J. C. Ryle, Knots Untied (Banner of Truth, 2016), 321–322.

Posted 2017·06·22 by David Kjos
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