We understand that the primary object of church attendance is not to learn something or to get something from it, but rather it is to offer worship to God. We would even go so far as to say that we were saved to worship God. A.W. Tozer put it this way: “The reason that Jesus Christ was born of the Virgin Mary to suffer under Pontius Pilate to be crucified, dead, and buried, the reason that He overcame the sharpness of death and rose again from the grave is that He might make worshipers out of rebels.” Our church exists to offer worship to God.
Now, there is much today we find labeled as “worship,” which if held up to the light of Scripture would be found quite unacceptable and unworthy to be offered to God. Thus we at St. Francis root ourselves in the forms of worship derived from God’s Holy Word and handed down to us through the centuries by faithful Christians. As Allen Ross points out in his Recalling the Hope of Glory, we understand worship to be the celebration of being in covenant fellowship with the Sovereign and holy triune God, by means of:
Reverent adoration and praise of God for Who He is and for what He has done through song and prayer.
Memorial reenactment of how we were brought into this covenant relationship with God by offering the Eucharist, or Lord’s Supper.
Expressed commitment of trust and obedience to God by striving to obey His commandments and to walk in His holy ways.
And we do all of this with confident anticipation that God will fulfill all His promises to us in glory.
Now in order for all the acts of worship to achieve what God intended, we also root ourselves in prayer. Prayer is essential for worship, and thus at St. Francis we strive to be a people of prayer—throughout the week, before our services, and during our services.
As Anglican Christians, we commit ourselves to what has been called the “Common Prayer” tradition; that is, we are a community dedicated to the life of prayer. As a church we submit ourselves to the disciplines laid out in the Book of Common Prayer (1928), which means every member is expected to set aside times for Morning and Evening Prayer being led by the services found in the Book of Common Prayer. All week, we dedicate ourselves to offering prayers of supplication, intercession, and confession to Almighty God spending time on our knees before Him and His holy Word, and thus little by little God’s Holy Spirit makes worshippers out of rebels. Then, as we come together on Sundays, we are better equipped to effectively offer worship to God, because without prayers of supplication, intercession, and confession being properly offered to God, true worship cannot be properly offered to Him. Prayer is the source of the praise of God in the church, and thus we set our roots deep into its life giving power taking 1Thess.5:17 seriously.