In many churches the prayer of invocation begins the worship service. We begin worship by asking God to be with us. It makes sense.
In the past few weeks, I have encountered my first argument against the prayer of invocation: God is already here among us, so why are we implying otherwise with a prayer of invocation? Much better suited to beginning worship, the argument concludes, would be to begin worship with a prayer of acknowledgement.
This argument/practice also makes sense. Indeed, I think it is appropriate to begin a worship service with a prayer that acknowledges God’s faithful presence. However, this leaves me wondering about the prayer of invocation. Before we agree to scrap it, I think it is worth taking a closer look at it. After all, people of the covenant, old and new, have often called out for God to be present. What positive things are going on when we do so? What do we risk losing if we stop? Continue reading What is a prayer of invocation?