A couple of weeks ago I had the privilege of organising a praise and prayer evening for our bible college community. It all started with a fireside conversation: “Wouldn’t it be great to come together for singing and prayer?”
We’re incredibly blessed at college to spend hours and hours drinking from a firehose of theology, missions, languages and ministry training. Also, God seems to have given us a range of gifted musicians, poets, artists and songwriters at present. So it seemed fitting to set aside a few hours to respond to God’s greatness: both in who he reveals Himself to be, and in how He saves us through Christ.
So on the 28th August, we had a room full of students and families, young and old, all worshipping God in song, prayer and reading His Word. The theme of the night, “Greater Than We Can Imagine”, came from Psalm 145:
“Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise;
his greatness no one can fathom.
One generation commends your works to another;
they tell of your mighty acts.
They speak of the glorious splendour of your majesty—
and I will meditate on your wonderful works.
They tell of the power of your awesome works—
and I will proclaim your great deeds.
They celebrate your abundant goodness
and joyfully sing of your righteousness.”
– Psalm 145:3-7, NIV
I had the job of picking songs for the night, while my fellow music coordinators Luke and Alastair prepared the rest of the program and arranged the space beautifully. I really appreciated how varied the contributions were from everyone, and how there was a real freedom to enjoy God together and to delight in His Word, and to “sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord…” (Eph 5:19)
If you’re interested, here’s a recap of what we did together on the night. We sang a variety of songs from a range of sources including Sovereign Grace Music, Stuart Townend, Indelible Grace, CityAlight, Hillsong, and even a few homegrown offerings from SMBC songwriters.
Part 1 – The God Who is Greater Than We Can Imagine
- Welcome & Prayer: an invitation to prefer one another and “let all things be done for building up” (1 Cor 14:26)
- Read: Group reading of Psalm 145
- Sing: All Creatures of our God and King by Sovereign Grace Music
- Sing: How Great is our God by Chris Tomlin (with How Great Thou Art)
- Pray: 1-sentence “popcorn” prayers to praise God for who He is
- Sing: Psalm 62 (My Soul Finds Rest) by Stuart Townend & Aaron Keyes
- Pray: Silent, self-directed reflections on Psalm 145
- Listen: Poem on Psalm 145 by Sam Gempton
- Listen: You Won’t Forsake Me by Matt Lo
- Sing: Psalm 130 (From the Depths of Woe) by Indelible Grace
- Sing: Only a Holy God by CityAlight
- Pray: A free response
- Sing: Great Is Thy Faithfulness (My Treasure) by Thomas Chisholm, John Piper
Part 2 – The God Who Saves is Greater Than We Can Imagine
- Welcome: a reminder our great God is also the one who redeems us through Christ Jesus
- Sing: Come Praise and Glorify by Sovereign Grace Music
- Sing: You Are the God Who Saves Me (Psalm 88) by Nick Freestone
- Sing: Love, You Will Not Let Me Go by George Matheson, music and lyrics by Brian Leung
- Sing: I Stand In Awe by Mark Altrogge (with scripture reading of Rev 4)
- Listen: Lord of the Heavens by James Peters
- Listen: Poem, “Here I Am” by Steph Leung
- Sing: Let Your Kingdom Come by Sovereign Grace Music
- Read: Revelation 5
- Sing: Revelation Song by Jennie Lee-Riddle
- Sing: O Praise the Name (Anástasis)
- Pray: To give thanks and close