The Warfare in Our Worship

We are at war but we always have been. Just as St. Paul says we war against powers unseen. (Ephesians 6:12). This has become increasingly clear as the war on the family has intensified and grown apace coupled with the attack on what is a man or woman. I won’t rehash the culture war or the secular war but for us Christians, this is a spiritual war. We have always been at war with the forces of darkness in the spiritual realm. This is nothing new, but what is new is how weak our defenses have become as a society. As our society moves away from Christianity something has to fill that void and it leaves evil to take its place. As a church we got complacent. We stopped going to church except on Sundays. We forgot to pray the daily office as a church. We stopped working out our spiritual muscles and is it any coincidence our influence on society is waning and evil is rising? What we do forms us, that is why liturgy is so important.

The Daily Office: Our Great Weapon

As Anglicans, we are blessed with one of the greatest weapons in this war, and that is the Daily Office. In it God’s word is read, we pray as a church, we ask for intercessions as a church, and we get forgiveness of sins as a church. Recently we saw the whole country turn and pray for a football player and his recovery has been miraculous. Dare I say this is the power of prayer in action and most people are too blind to see the truth? This leads me back to the Daily Office. What will it take to make this part of our life again? I ask this sincerely. When will the laity demand that the church offer this daily at their parish? When will the church call its people back to prayer daily, through the Daily Office? I for one crave it. What better fortress could we have during these troubled times than a refuge in the House of God with daily corporate prayer and Scripture reading?

Our Victory Assured

This is a war and in the end, we will have victory. I have read to the end of the Bible so I know this to be true but while we are on earth, at this time, this is a fight we are losing at the moment. We need to rally and protect ourselves. In the Middle Ages, after the fall of Rome in the West, monasteries were lights in the wilderness, places of prayer and learning. One of the brilliant things about Anglicanism is that we moved the monasteries into the church through the Daily Office. Let our churches again resume the place of monasteries in the Middle Ages. Let us be a light shining upon the world, teaching people the truth. Let our light be so strong that the shadow can’t stand to come into contact with it and flees from the presence of our churches. We should be filling the world with beauty and holiness through our lives, our church presence, prayer, and liturgy. Let the Holy Spirit work through us and show people the truth. The truth of their lives and eternity. That they are sinners, this world is a passing thing, and that one day they will stand before God and have to account for their life and they will be seen as miserable offenders without Christ’s intercession on their behalf. (1 John 2 1-2).

Processions

One last aid in battle I want to draw attention to is processions. We need them. We need to bring them back where they’re not done. We need to process around our towns, marching behind the cross with the Gospel held high. We need the world to see our faith and to hear our prayers. In the Anglican tradition, we are blessed with the Great Litany. We pray for ourselves, the world, the government, and everyone in this prayer. Imagine the sight of priests vested with their parishioners marching behind them with the Cross and the Gospel leading us as we pray. I can’t imagine a stranger or stronger sight to worldly eyes. We will draw their attention, pray for them, and take the fight out into the world to draw the lost in with our living testimony as we pray for the world and us.


Bart Wallace

Bart Wallace attends Legacy Anglican Church in Montgomery. He is a convert to Anglicanism from Methodism.


'The Warfare in Our Worship' have 4 comments

  1. February 24, 2023 @ 11:27 am Fronda Woods

    Amen! I say again, Amen!

    Reply

    • February 25, 2023 @ 2:33 pm Alice C. Linsley

      True! An increased public appearance of Anglican Christianity would be a blessing to many and an affront to Christ-haters. When affronted, Christ-haters overreact and show their true colors. That is why it is impossible for those who proclaim the Gospel to avoid spiritual warfare.

      Complacency leads to decline and decline leads to decadence.

      Thank you, Bart Wallace, for writing this.

      Reply

  2. February 25, 2023 @ 7:24 pm William Bettis

    Thank you for the great article. I’m in a parish that has three weekday Daily Office services via Zoom. Life is busier than it used to be but that probably makes carving out that time even more important.

    Reply

  3. March 3, 2023 @ 7:41 am The Rev. Justin Clemente

    Raise up your church, Lord! As a church planter, I’ve always been so thankful to the people who hold me and the church up in prayer. I’m blessed to have two personal intercessors, and there is warfare in their worship for sure!

    Reply


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