Worship is a vertical rite in which the individual is caught up in the very presence—feared, dreaded, or beloved—of the Deity. Thus worship is and must be prayer, for nothing short of communicating with the One being worshiped will suffice.
Preacher," said a man on the worship committee of one of my churches a few years ago, "I don't mean this personally, so no hard feelings, but I think about the most boring thing we do in our worship services is pray. Therefore I propose that we eliminate as many prayers from our services as we can and fill the time with other things."
A stunned silence settled over the meeting. "Bob," I finally said, "you may be right. I'm not going to respond without giving what you said some thought. Why don't we schedule a time when we can all talk about it at length?"
He appeared satisfied. After all, it was his first meeting with the committee, and he probably expected his suggestion to be shot down without dignity. Now, at least, his pastor had ...1