Sunday, January 02, 2011

connection of worship and prayer: church and temple

For two decades now, in many evangelical churches, it's obvious that "worship" means "music." (See"worship is not music"...and on a lighter and more whimsical note, see the 'Worship' paragraph of one church's "order of worship" at "Virgin Sacrifices")
For some strange reason, the word has come to be synonymous with "the songs sung early in the meeting."

"Good morning! After the worship, the children will be dismissed, and Pastor Steve will share from God's word."

Translate: "after five songs."

Music is central to worship (see 
, but is not the whole deal.

In a sense, itwould/could be just as wrong to translate "worship" as (only) "prayer."

"It appears that the early church patterned itself after the synagogue and continued the same practice of living and worshiping together as a community, often in private homes (Acts 2:42?4). The modern 'assembly' of Jesus' followers would do well to remember that the roots of the church are in a community living and worshiping together. Worship (prayer) was a natural extension of the life of the community.

...Christians describe the church activity of formal interaction with God as 'worship.' Jews describe the same activity in synagogues (or, in Bible times, in the Temple) as 'prayer' In Jesus' parable, the tax collector and Pharisee go to the Temple to pray (Luke 18:10). Their activity certainly included prayer, for going to the Temple to pray meant going at the time of worship and sacrifice. The Temple is called the House of Prayer (Isa. 56:7;Luke 19:), meaning 'the place of worship'."
-Ray VanDer Laan 

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