worship - again?!

He is arguably the leading historian in the evangelical world today. And he has been in Auckland for a few days. David Bebbington from the UK. Yeah - I know that sounds a bit like Daniel Bedingfield, but I assure you that this guy is very different.

Last night he spoke at the annual dinner of the Baptist Historical Society. Stick with me here... For almost 40 years Bebbington has been keeping meticulous details of every single church worship service he has attended. He has been filling notebooks with the information. Right down to the exact number of people - increasing each decade it must be said - that raised their hands at a specific Baptist church in the UK which he regularly frequented. He kept track of everything. I mean everything. It makes you wonder how he managed to worship God as well as writing all this stuff down!

His address was so absorbing as he reflected on the changes in public worship over these four decades. During the Q&A the predictable question emerged: 'what would be your biggest concern about where we are in worship now, compared with 40 years ago?'

Bebbington's response? It came very, very quickly... The lack of prayer for other people. The demise of intercession in public worship. We tend to pray just about the things that concern us.

nice chatting

Paul Windsor

Comments

Jono said…
Hi Paul, I'm one of Mark Barnards students at Praxis.

The ending of this post struck a chord with me. I talked about the point made about Prayer for others this morning during our quiet time at work. I believe that generally our mindset and understanding is lacking regarding prayer.

I have recently come to the realisation that prayer is a powerful weapon. It does things that our words and actions often can't do. It goes places we often cannot go.

To elaborate I believe Spurgeon said it best:

"Intercession is a true bringing of souls to Christ, and this means will avail when you are shut out from employing any other."
"Here is a valuable weapon for those who cannot preach or teach: they can wield the sword of all-prayer. When hearts are too hard for sermons, and good advice is rejected, it still remains to love to be allowed to plead with God for its wayward one."

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds

2 Cor 10:3-4

A nice challenge!
Jono
Paul Windsor said…
Hey Jono - that is a helpful comment from Spurgeon. I like the desperation in it! We do tend to put a lot of confidence in our own techniques and programmes (I know I do)and intercession can be squeezed out.
I had a retired pastor come into my office yesterday to pray for me. He had us get on our knees - and, gee, could he intercede!?
Stick with that Praxis!

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