Psalm 29 is a great passage to pray for our Sunday worship services, as it addresses so many scriptural things that we should want to see happen in our churches:
:1-2 “Ascribe to the Lord, sons of the mighty … the glory due to His name.” Glorifying God is the single most important thing that can happen in our services!
:3-9a “The voice of the Lord is upon the waters; the God of glory thunders …” We should pray that God would indeed “thunder” His voice through the men who proclaim His word!
:9b “In His temple, everything says, ‘Glory!’.” Thus we should pray that everything that is done in our houses of worship, from Bible studies, to fellowship and conversations in the hallways, would glorify God.
:10 “The Lord sat as King at the flood; yes, the Lord sits as King forever.” Let us pray that through our services, God would indeed “sit as King” over every area of our lives, and that His Lordship would be extended in the form of specific commitments to live and act differently.
:11 “The Lord will give strength to His people; the Lord will bless His people with peace.” Notice that in this “ideal” service, God is glorified, AND the needs of His people are met. Many modern practitioners of religion have focused on the “felt needs” of people, and as a result they have made their services extremely man-centered. Ironically, this does NOT ultimately meet their congregants’ greatest needs, because the single greatest need anyone has is to know and glorify God. But when the focus is on God, and He is exalted, it accomplishes both purposes: He is both glorified AND His people are strengthened and blessed. This should encourage leaders to keep the focus on God in our worship.
Following the outline of a passage of scripture like Psalm 29 can help us pray for something in our services besides “for a lot of people to come and for someone to be saved or added.” I admit I’ve prayed many a prayer like that. But Psalm 29 gives us a far better, and more scriptural range of topics. If, as :11 indicates, we pray that the Lord “blesses His people with peace”, that “peace” includes salvation for those who need peace with God. But it asks for more as well, that the people of God would be strengthened as a result of their time with Him.
A God-honoring worship service is MORE than just “decisions”; it includes all that these verses indicate. I hope that you’ll join me in praying through Psalm 29 for First Baptist Moss Bluff, and for other churches on your heart today — and most especially that God will glorified in all; that “In His temple, everything says: ‘Glory!’”