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Source Book for 

Concerts of Praise:

100 Sample Liturgies
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Gregg Strawbridge
 
 
 
All Scripture quotations are taken from the New American Standard Bible, Copyright 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1987, 1988, The Lockman Foundation. Used by Permission. Unless Otherwise Designated.
 
 

© 1995 Gregg Strawbridge, Ph.D.

The Document is Published by the Author

Gregg Strawbridge, Ph.D.

All Saints' Presbyterian Church, Lancaster, PA, Pastor


Contents
 
 
 

Preface viii
 

Introduction ix
 

Principles of the Concert of Praise x
 

Using the Concert of Praise Format xi
 

A Concert of Praise from Psalm 1 1

Blessed are the Righteous
 

A Concert of Prayer from Psalm 8 2

How Majestic is Your Name!
 

A Concert of Praise from Psalm 9 3

Give Thanks!
 

A Concert of Praise from Psalm 15 4

The Narrow Way
 

A Concert of Praise from Psalm 17 5

A Cry for His Lovingkindness
 

A Concert of Praise from Psalm 18 6

The Deliverance of Jehovah
 

A Concert of Praise from Psalm 19 7

The Word
 

A Concert of Praise from Psalm 21 8

Be Thou Exalted, O Lord, in Thy strength.
 

A Concert of Praise from Psalm 22 9

A Vision for Missions
 

A Concert of Praise from Psalm 23 10

The Lord is My Shepherd
 

A Concert of Prayer from Psalm 24 11

The Earth is the Lord's
 

A Concert of Praise from Psalm 29 12

Ascribe Glory to God!
 

A Concert of Praise from Psalm 32 13

Blessed is Man Who is Forgiven
 

A Concert of Prayer from Psalm 33 14

Praise Him!
 

A Concert of Praise from Psalm 40 15

A Song of Salvation
 

A Concert of Prayer from Psalm 51 16

Create in Me a Clean Heart
 

A Concert of Praise from Psalm 57 17

Send Forth Thy Truth!
 

A Concert of Praise from Psalm 67 18

Thy Salvation to All the Nations
 

A Concert of Praise from Psalm 68 19

The Lord Will Provide
 

A Concert of Prayer from Psalm 71 20

Lead Us Not Into Temptation
 

A Concert of Praise from Psalm 72 21

Jesus Shall Reign!
 

A Concert of Prayer from Psalm 80 22

Restore Us!
 

A Concert of Praise from Psalm 84 23

How Lovely is the Lord!
 

A Concert of Praise from Psalm 86 24

Thou Art Good and Ready to Forgive
 

A Concert of Praise from Psalm 89:1-18 25

Send Forth Thy Truth!
 

A Concert of Praise from Psalm 92 26

Thou Hast Made Me Glad
 

A Concert of Praise from Psalm 95 27

Come, Let Us Worship
 

A Concert of Praise from Psalm 96 28

Worship and Missions
 

A Concert of Praise from Psalm 98 29

The Victorious Deliverer
 

A Concert of Praise from Psalm 100 30

Make a Joyful Noise!
 

A Concert of Praise from Psalm 103 31

Send Forth Thy Truth!
 

A Concert of Praise from Psalm 105 32

Praise the Covenant Keeping God
 

A Concert of Praise from Psalm 108 33

Give Thanks for His Love, Faithfulness and Deliverance
 

A Concert of Praise from Psalm 110 34

Jesus Reigns!
 

A Concert of Praise from Psalm 119 35

The Law of God from A to Z: Part 1
 

A Concert of Praise from Psalm 119 37

The Law of God from A to Z: Part 2
 

A Concert of Praise from Psalm 119 39

The Law of God from A to Z: Part 3
 

A Concert of Praise from Psalm 119 40

The Law of God from A to Z: Part 4
 

A Concert of Praise from Psalms 123 & 124 42

Our Master in Heaven
 

A Concert of Praise from Psalm 128 43

Praise for Our Mothers
 

A Concert of Praise from Psalm 130 44

Forgiveness in Him
 

A Concert of Praise from Psalm 133 45

Unity
 

A Concert of Praise from Psalm 135 46

The Name of the Lord
 

A Concert of Praise from Psalm 136 47

His Lovingkindness is Everlasting
 

A Concert of Praise from Psalm 138 48

Thou Hast Magnified Thy Word
 

A Concert of Praise from Psalm 139 49

Worship Him Who Knows Us
 

A Concert of Praise from Psalm 145 50

Extol the King, Our God!
 

A Concert of Praise from Psalm 146 51

Hallelujah! Praise Jehovah!
 

A Concert of Praise from Psalm 147 52

Hallelujah! Praise the Healer!
 

A Concert of Praise from Psalm 148 53

Hallelujah! Praise the Creator!
 

A Concert of Praise from Psalm 149 54

Hallelujah! Praise the Lord in the Congregation
 

A Concert of Praise from Psalm 150 55

Hallelujah! Let Everything that has Breath Praise the Lord!
 

A Celebration of the New Year 56

That He Might have First Place in Everything
 

The Celestial City 57

His Throne, Our Hope
 

The Christian Home 59

The Covenant Family
 

One Body, One Bread, One Lord 61

The Table of Fellowship
 

Hallowed Be Thy Name 62

Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty
 

Thy Kingdom Come 63

The Rule of Messiah Jesus
 

He is Risen! 64

He is Risen Indeed!
 

Give Us Our Daily Bread 66

A Concert of Prayer for Our Needs
 

Great is Thy Faithfulness 67

A Concert of Praise for His Fidelity
 

Wisdom for Fathers 68

A Fathers' Day Celebration
 

One Nation Under God 69

Prayer and Praise For His Mercy
 

Heaven -- Our Eternal Dwelling 70

Where We'll See Him Face to Face
 

The Seal of the Spirit 71

The Mandate and Meaning of Baptism
 

Man of Sorrows 72

Our Substitute
 

The New Covenant 73

In His Blood
 

The Five Cries of the Reformation 74

A Celebration of the Truths Recovered in the Reformation
 

A Celebration of the Gospel 80

Of First Importance
 

The God of Providence 81

Our Sovereign Lord
 

Thine is the Kingdom 82

Jesus Reigns
 

Our Faith and Our Future 83

Gospel Belief and Gospel Hope
 

The Resurrection 84

Our Hope
 

To Be Disciples and To Make Disciples 85

The Calling of All Christians
 

The Lordship of Christ Over All of Life 86

Worldview Christianity
 

Worship the Lord in Spirit and Truth 87

Cheerfully, Continually, and Congregationally
 

King of Kings and Lord of Lords 88

A Dramatic Reading from Revelation 19:7-16
 

Christ, Our Savior 89

Christ, Our Lord
 

Jesus, Our Salvation 90

Jesus, Our Lord
 

A Concert of Prayer in Jesus' Name 91

Rejoice, Repent, Restore!
 

The Glories of Heaven 92

The Reason for Earth
 

Of Holy Scripture 93

The Word of God Written
 

The Authority of Jesus Christ 94

He is Before All Things
 

The Faith Once for All Delivered 95

Credo
 

The Good News 96

The Gospel Faith
 

How Sweet and Awful is the Place 97

The Presence of the Lord
 

Thanksgiving Praise Service 98

Give Thanks!
 

The Purpose of Christ 99

To Seek and Save the Lost
 

The Kingdom of God 100

Righteousness, Joy, and Peace
 

Admonish One Another 101

The Body of Christ
 

Love One Another 102

The Body of Christ
 

Serve One Another 103

The Body of Christ
 

I Saw the Lord 104

A Dramatic Reading of Isaiah 6:1-8
 

The Law and Gospel 105

The Law which Leads to Christ
 

Christ the Lord 106

The Lordship of Jesus
 

Christ the Victor 107

Victory in Jesus
 

Jesus Our Prophet 108

The Life of the World
 

Jesus Our Priest 109

The Lamb of the World
 

Jesus Our King 110

The Lord of the World
 

Jesus Our Lamp 111

The Light of the World
 

The Second Advent 112

The Glorious Second Coming
 
 

Preface





This manual is a vivisection of the life of our church. It represents a distinguishing feature of our Lord's Day services. As we have sought to employ the Word of God to guide us in worship, the patterns that have emerged fill this source book.
 

It is my earnest desire that we see a revival of the Psalms in congregational worship and the focus of worship be Bible-based rather than emotionally driven. I would not want to be misunderstood as disparaging emotionally vibrant praise, prayer, and worship. Far from it! Only that our vision of the Lord as He truly is becomes the cause of our emotional expression. Where better may we learn to give heart praise to God than from the ancient inspired worshipers in the Psalms. Worshiping according to the Word is the only sure path to a transparent experience before God in the assembly of His people. By using the Word as the guide, "score," or "blueprint" of our service, we are sure to invoke the presence of the Spirit. It is my conviction that until the church seeks to worship God on the basis of His Word in spirit and truth, we will be driven by endless tyranical extremes.
 

...With all the attention on "new forms" of worship in the modern church, little reclaiming of the riches of the Psalms in their fulness has yet been realized. On a limited scale the Psalms are sung in the cadences of the old psalters. In a previous generation, public worship almost always included a "responsive reading" from the book of Psalms. More recently, countless choruses have centred on a repetition in song of one verse, or even one phrase, of one psalm. But the full-orbed testimony of the Psalter, as it touches every possible experience of weal and woe in the life of God's people has not found a voice in the current worship of the church. (1)
 

I pray that this resource aid the people of God in reclaiming "regulative worship" (2) and making the Psalms our Book of Common Praise, that by the Son of God, in the power of the Spirit of God, according to the Word of God, they might give glory and acceptable worship to the most holy and majestic triune God. (3)
 
 
 

For we are the true circumcision, who worship in the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh. (Philippians 3:3)
 
 

Introduction





The Concerts of Praise in this book, while not including the sermon information, are substantially what we have used for the past five years in our 10:00 a.m. Family Worship Hour at Audubon Drive Bible Church, Laurel, MS. We have repeated many of these services with variations and many others were not included in this first list of Concerts of Praise. What is presented here, unpolished as they may be, are worship "scores" as they have been developed for use in our congregation. I have collated them with very little editing. It will be clear to the reader that when these are exported to other congregations some adaptations may be needed. It will also be clear that the order in which they are presented in this book was not the original order as used in the congregation. It appears that there are many repetitions in the song selections; however, in the actual order in which these were developed the repetition of songs within a year was very minimal.
 

When we have had soloists or ensembles included in the service I have left the information. I have done so for several reasons: (a) to maintain, as much as possible, our actual blueprints for services, (b) to permit the original flow of the service to be seen, but most importantly (c) to illustrate the place of such music in the congregation -- to "teach and admonish one another" (Col. 3:16) or "speak to one another" (Eph. 5:19) with music in accordance with the Word in the assembly. The new songs that have originated in our congregation, for our congregation, are also included. (4)
 

The hymn numbers are keyed to the Trinity Hymnal (Great Commission: Atlanta/Philadelphia, 1961), the hymnal we use in the congregation and in parentheses () the Hymnal for Worship and Celebration (Word: Dallas, 1986), the hymnal that our musicians use for many of the songs not in the Trinity Hymnal. Unfortunately, there is no one source for many of the praise choruses. I suggest as sources the following: the songbook series Praise Worship (Hosanna's Integrity Music, 1987; vol 1, et al) and the 2nd Edition, Praise! Chorus Book (Maranatha! Music, 1990). I have removed the copyrighted song texts from this publication because of copyright infringement. It is our current practice to print the text of all the songs not in the hymnal in the Sunday bulletin and to display them on the overhead. To facilitate this I have developed a database of song texts. For copyrighted songs (for use in the congregation) we are very thankful for the service of the Christian Copyright License, Inc. (5) by which we can print and display songs and credit the writers.

Principles of the Concert of Praise

  1. It is a concert, (6) thus it is an orchestrated plan for the assembly. It includes planned aspects and spontaneous aspects, e.g., times open for the general congregation to give thanks, pray, praise, and stimulate one another to love and good deeds (Heb. 10:24-25).

  2.  
  3. Since it is a concert, it has a "score." Because we should worship God by His own prescriptions, it should be organized around a Psalm, biblical passage pointing us to God, or a biblical theme (God's power, the Cross, the Resurrection, etc.) which has its foundation in biblical passages. All of these themes should be Christocentric in their interpretation since we have God's full score of revelation culminating in the Word Incarnate.

  4.  
  5. As a concert, it involves the members of the Body (I Cor. 14) like an orchestra in participation. The "parts" can be planned in a written order of service and each member can participate at the appropriate time (e.g., Scripture reading, prayer, teaching/sharing from the Word, music).

  6.  
  7. Just as an orchestral concert involves a conductor, so a Concert of Praise must be directed. Such direction involves planning, delegating and leading. It is important to receive leadership and congregational affirmation of the service(s).

  8.  
  9. It is a concert and so it moves through themes and sections of praise. An appropriate goal would be to cover all of the major Scriptural topics and Psalms relevant to praise over several years. It is effective to coordinate the thematic content of a Concert of Praise with the teaching ministry of the church (especially, preaching).
  1. A Concert of Praise flows well from many of the Psalms since they are inspired worship directives. Many Psalms tell us how, when, and why to praise God; therefore, we may appropriately respond in congregational worship. For example, using Psalm 100, we may respond to "Come before Him with joyful singing" by singing a medley of songs with joy and gladness. Congregational responses to the Word can vary as long as our responses have biblical warrant and are aimed at the exaltation of God and the edification of the congregation.

  2.  
  3. Concerts of praise are to be focused on God and not ourselves. Keeping this concept in mind helps the worship leader and the congregation avoid many misplaced emphases in worship. The Bible distinguishes two categorical motivations for our praise of God: Psalm 150:2 says, "Praise Him for His mighty deeds; Praise Him according to His excellent greatness." Therefore, praise should be directed at who God is and what He has done.

  4.  
Using the Concert of Praise Format
  1. Principally, the Concert of Praise format applies Sola Scriptura (the Scripture alone [as authoritative]) to the worship service. It can be distilled in the phrase, "worshiping God according to His Word." This means letting the Word be the principal content in worship. Thus, as the Scripture is proclaimed, the congregation responds according to the Word in praise and prayer.
  2. Practically, several formats have emerged in our congregation over the past few years in using Concerts of Praise:
    1. The most basic format is based on a Psalm. The Psalm is divided into (usually) three sections which are titled with a thematic outline. It begins with a responsive reading of the first section of the Psalm and is followed by a medley of praise songs. Following the opening set of songs, the leader prays in praise to formally acknowledge being in the presence of the Lord with His people. After the second section of the Psalm is read (usually by an appointed member of the congregation), I try to utilize a metrical version of the Psalm or a song/hymn which is based in the Psalm. Finally, the third section is followed by more worshipful songs which compliment the content. Then, a time of sharing and prayer (biblical, "giving thanks") or the Lord's Supper concludes the Concert of Praise. For selected examples see Psalm 15 (p. 4) and Psalm 95 (p. 15).
    2. The second kind of Concert of Praise is based on a biblical theme. It follows a similar structure as discussed above. However, selected passages are chosen to give a full comment on the biblical theme. For selected examples see "Thine is the Kingdom" (p. 82) and "A Celebration of the Gospel" (p. 80).
    3. The third type is usually entitled a "Concert of Prayer." They may be based on a Psalm or a biblical theme, but have planned opportunities for prayer according to the Word, indicated by bullets (). For selected examples see Psalm 80 (p. 22) and "Give Us Our Daily Bread" (p. 66).
    4. The fourth type of Concert of Praise is what I entitle a "dramatic reading." It involves a passage of Scripture which has several speakers (readers) to dramatically read the parts, almost as the characters. The congregation responds in praise and prayer at appropriate times. For example, see "I Saw the Lord" (from Isaiah 6:1-8) (p. 104) and "King of Kings and Lord of Lords" (from Revelation 19:7-16) (p. 88). An expanded form of this with more theological content is "The Five Cries of the Reformation" (p. 74).
  3. Musically, consider developing and using the following:
    1. Develop sequences of songs which emotionally-musically compliment the Word. Thus, I try to think of the "mood" (for lack of a better term) of the songs in there relation to the message of the Scripture. Some common movements in the emotional message of the music are from "up tempo" to slow and worshipful; from a majestic kind of "objective" praise to a more adorational personal praise; from light and happy praise to that which is deeper and confessional.
    2. Use medleys of musically compatible songs to help people "praise until they praise" and "worship until they worship."
    3. Use musical transitions which lead from song to song in a medley. Usually, our pianist does this, or I will use guitar to do it. This keeps up the "musical steam." This often requires the ability of the musicians to improvise a modulation (change of key).
    4. Find familiar and appropriate hymn tunes for unfamiliar texts, such as metrical Psalms.
    5. Use choruses and praise songs that are grounded in Scripture and fit within the Concert of Praise. These add musical freshness and very often a much more personal text ("I -- You") to facilitate heart praise and prayer.
  4. Stylistically, I try to use different kinds of music style in an effort to speak the whole congregation's musical heart language. This varies from congregation to congregation.
    1. We have a great heritage of classical hymns that, for the most part reflect sound theology. They are to be valued in that they are textually sound and musically familiar.
    2. We have an explosion of praise and worship choruses that express biblical truth if not a specific biblical text. They are to be valued for their freshness, musically, and their first and second person ("I love You, Lord") language.
    3. Most of the evangelical church has neglected singing the Psalms. The Concert of Praise structure is a good format for reclaiming this biblical, historical, and theological practice. Usually, I will set a metrical Psalm to a familiar hymn tune (if it is not) which expresses the character of the message. (7)
  5. Theologically, the leader of a Concert of Praise can truly "lead" people into the presence of God, by continually pointing to Christ while leading. Being a worshiper while leading, speaking with enthusiasm and vigor, and planning God-focused comments to introduce sections of the Concert of Praise all contribute to a theocentric-Christocentric worship service.

  6. Logistically, the format of a Concert of Praise is flexible. It could transform the first part of a more traditional worship service or become its own service (it is the 10:00 a.m. Family Worship Hour in our church). As is evident in this book, many Concerts of Praise lead naturally into a missions presentation (Moment for Missions) or the Lord's Supper or simply congregational sharing and prayer.



    [contact the author to obtain the entire document] Gregg Strawbridge



    1. O. Palmer Robertson, Psalms in Congregational Celebration, (Evangelical Press: Duram, UK, 1995), p. 7.


2. The "regulative principle" of worship is the concept of finding biblical warrant for all that forms a part of worship. It has its roots in Reformation theology and was most definitively articulated by the Scottish Puritans.

3. For biblical and theological study of the basis for the Concert of Praise format, see my Toward a Biblical Theology of Worship and Worship Services.

4. My songs are indicated by the initials (GS); Dr. Ken Grafton's (elder at ADBC) songs are indicated by (KG). Several of these are in the Family Worship Songbook and Tape.

5. CCLI may be contacted at 800/234-2446. They also have a computer program which includes 5000 song texts and information, Song Select.

6. The name was patterned after David Bryant's Concert of Prayer ministry and I have greatly benefited from attending a Concert of Prayer led by Bryant. The title stretches back to Scotland and found its articulation the writings of Jonathan Edwards and the days of the Great Awakening in the mid 18th Century when people began to pray "in concert" (together in different locations at an appointed time for revival).

7. I have found the metrical Psalms from The Psalter, 1912, to have a lyric quality like classical hymns and easy meters for finding alternate tunes, although it is out print. Fortunately, many of these and other fine Psalter settings are in the Trinity Hymnal and the Trinity Psalter (Great Commission: Grand Rapids, 1994), as well as the Book of Psalms for Singing (Crown and Covenant: Pittsburgh, 1973). For more Psalm resources call Crown and Covenant at 412/241-0436.

8. Alphabetic paraphrase of Psalm 119 by the author.