Friday, May 24, 2013

Reading Responses

Sometimes, I got nothing. Sometimes, I go to pray and I have no words. Sometimes, I enjoy using the words of others in church and in my prayers, such as responsive readings.

Ephesians 5:18-19 urges and encourages us to speak to each other in Psalms, hymns, and songs of the Spirit. I enjoy responsive readings, as long as they mean something to me. I'm a big fan of meaning in worship. If a song or responsive reading isn't true for me (or based accurately in scripture), I don't sing or say it.


A Psalm and A Prayer For Private and Public Devotions would be a good resource for those interested in delving deeper into responsive readings. They provide call and responses taken from the book of Psalm.

Responsive readings typically have a cadence, a rhythm that I like. Hearing many voices singing the Doxology, saying the Lord's prayer, or speaking a Psalm is a thing of beauty. When the meaning is real and the worship is sincere, responsive readings is a wonderful way to branch out of our typical utterances and prayers and join the saints from all ages in worshiping the one true God. Sometimes I find prayers and psalms that pour out what I am feeling, but could not find the words to say.

Try responsive readings. Try praying the Psalms. It just may become a treasured part of worship.

Do you have a favorite responsive reading? You can find mine at <http://commonprayer.net/> at the end of each day's reading (starting with "May the peace of Christ go with you"). Another one of my favorites can be found at <http://www.capistranocc.org/songs.htm>. It's at the bottom of the page and entitled "Go Now in Peace." I grew up singing that one at my church.

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