The Order of Worship: Doxology and Prayer of Thanksgiving
Continuing our series on the order of worship, we now come to the doxology and prayer of thanksgiving. We have heard the assurance of pardon, the gospel preached, and the truth of who God is and what he has done in Christ in the Creed. Now it is time to praise God for these things and give thanks.
We praise God using the traditional Doxology most Sundays. This Doxology is a 17th century composition that has since been widely used in English-speaking churches. In these brief lines, we—both his creatures on earth and in heaven—are called to praise the triune God and acknowledge that all blessings come from him. Singing this after the Creed, which is a Trinitarian statement of our faith that clearly and concisely describes the blessings of God in Christ, is a fitting response to all God has spoken to his people in worship each Sunday.
We then go to God in prayer, thanking him for his many blessings. We usually begin with the person and work of Christ, out of which and through which all those blessings flow to his people. We then acknowledge specific blessings, including those blessings we have read from his Word that day.
Remember, corporate worship is a conversation—a dialogue—between God and his people. It is perfectly natural and good, then, that we thank him and praise him as we come to the end of our corporate worship. We close our portion of the conversation with a final hymn. This hymn is typically triumphant or focused on our thanks to God or our love for Christ.
Next time, we will conclude this series by considering the benediction, God’s blessing on his people.
Your fellow servant of Christ,