Commentary by Dr. Whitesel, 2/6/22.
While observing hundreds, if not thousands, of worship services I’ve noticed that the beginning of the service sets a tone and direction for what follows. Sometimes called the opening prayer or the call to worship, it is often the worship leader who utters this. But, I’ve noticed that many times they seem less than focused and even nervous when doing so. This may be the result of working on the music more than on the words with which they’ll to utter to launch the service. This is especially true in non-liturgical churches where the worship leader often begins the service from the platform by offering a prayer. It is this prayer that I have found to be less than focused on a recurring basis.
Subsequently, it’s may be better for church leaders and/or worship leaders to designate someone else to deliver the opening prayer. The opening prayer should be a joyous entrance into worship. It should be uplifting, heavenly focused and inspire exhalation.
Inspiration can come from psalms such as Psalm 80, 40, 145 and 146 (see below). Even if the opening prayer is pre-written and/or in a liturgical format, the person delivering the prayer can meditate upon such psalms before hand. This can put them in the right frame of mind to deliver a biblical call to worship.
The psalmist says:
“LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!” – Psalm 8:9
“He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the LORD and put their trust in him.” – Psalm 40:3