This week’s worship is inspired by Psalm 34 which is an acrostic poem following the letters of the Hebrew alphabet.
Written at one of the lowest points of David’s life, it is full of encouragement to drink deeply and feast with plenty on the One who provides – even in the most difficult of circumstances.
Combined with the other readings, the many words relating to taste, touch, sight and sound all invite us to experience the reality of God’s presence which moves us from desperation to deliverance, fear to joy, seeing to believing.
The opening prayer/call to worship below is based on the Psalm but written to represent the English alphabet.
A mighty shout shall fill this place
Because God is good.
Can you understand God’s purpose?
Do you doubt God’s saving power?
Evil does not go unpunished
for the Lord listens to his people.
God stoops down to hear our prayers.
He encircles us, empowers us, shows us how to escape.
I’m boasting of his miracle-deliverance;
Jumping for joy over what God’s done for me.
Know that my testimony is true:
My lips are full of perpetual praise!
Nothing can destroy me.
Oh, if only those with crushed spirits and broken hearts would cry out,
“Protect me, Lord.
Quiet my fears.
Rescue me from my many troubles.
Shelter me in your love.”
Then joy will come.
Unfettered, we’ll feast with plenty;
Victorious, we’ll walk with our heads held high.
We’ll glorify God together;
eXalt his glorious name;
yoke our lives with his.
Zestily – that’s how God moves us to live!
For the prayers of praise and thanksgiving that follow, the congregation can be divided into small groups – each receiving a piece of paper with a word relating to your meditation they are to use to form their own acrostic prayers. The invitation is for them to share what they are grateful for and then try to express this in an acrostic form. After a few minutes, a representative from each group reads their prayer aloud – perhaps interspersed with verses from a hymn/chorus of praise.