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Prayer as Worship: Enter His Gates With Thanksgiving and His Courts With Praise!

News--Prayer as Worship


Let’s face it: There are a lot of wonderful ways to spend a beautiful spring Saturday in Charleston. But I would contend there is no better way than at the Prayer as Worship offering led by Frenchie Richards and Pam Dickson this past Saturday at St. Philip’s.

About 30 St. Philippians of various ages, from their 20s to their 80s and everyone else in between, joined together with a desire to enrich their prayer lives––and they did just that. The theme centered around Psalm 100:4, which tells us to “Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise ...”

Pam began by painting a visual picture for everyone of entering the Temple gates and walking all the way through to the Holy of Holies. Pam then led the group through dozens and dozens of Scripture passages that instruct us how we are called to pray. The group discussed and practiced prayers of thanksgiving, adoration, confession, and repentance. There was dedicated time for each participant to spend alone in prayer, and they were encouraged to spend part of that time in silence listening for the Lord. Then there was time for small group intercessory prayer, when groups of five or six spent time in one accord in prayer.


Several times throughout Pam’s teaching, Joanna Macmurphy led the group in beautiful worship music. As coordinator of the event, Frenchie Richards tended to the participants’ every need. The day concluded with Eucharist administered by the Rev. Andrew O’Dell. Before communion, Andrew asked each participant to share a word or phrase that had been impressed on their hearts. Among what we heard were “gratitude,” “respite,” “outpouring of love,” “a need to listen more,” “patience,” “peace,” “acceptance,” and “joy that one day we will no longer have a need for prayers of petition.”

The Holy Spirit was present and moving in people’s hearts, drawing them closer and encouraging them to be in a deeper relationship with Him. Pam spoke a final word of Scripture over the group, Acts 4:31: “And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.”

May we all at St. Philip’s speak the Word of God with boldness.