“Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hid: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you and worthily magnify your holy Name; through Christ our Lord. Amen.”
This prayer is known as the Collect for Purity and it comes at the beginning of the communion service in most Anglican churches. It was translated from Latin into English by Thomas Cranmer and Christians have been praying it for centuries.
It’s a prayer to our Father: “Almighty God…”
It’s a prayer of surrender: “… to you all hearts are open…”
It’s a prayer of confession: “…all desires known, and from you no secrets are hid. Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts…”
It’s a prayer that God would be at work in us: “…by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit…”
It’s a prayer of commitment: “…that we may perfectly love you…”
It’s a prayer of adoration: “…and worthily magnify your holy name…”
And it’s a reminder that we can only approach the Father because of Jesus: “through Christ our Lord. Amen.”
We worship a God who is worthy “to receive glory, honor and power, for (he) created all things, and by (his) will they exist and were created.” (Revelation 4:11, ESV)
And we want to “magnify” our worthy God – not in the way that a magnifying glass makes something small look big – but in the way that a telescope helps us see up close something so magnificent and amazing. If you’ve ever seen a distant star through a telescope, you realize that, in the words of John Piper “we are not made to be made much of. We are made to make much of something great.”
My job as a worship leader is to help the church “make much of” or “magnify” the greatness of God as revealed in Jesus Christ. And I can only do it by the power of his Spirit.
My prayer is that this blog will help those of us who serve as worship leaders – in all sorts of different capacities – skillfully and humbly help our congregations “worthily magnify” our Almighty God.