There was a call for the congregation to prayer and everyone started praying out loud. That was normal of my youth. There was a call to prayer and the whole place was silent, except for the person on the stage. That is today's normal.
I grew up in the first tradition, but work in the second. There is nothing wrong with either, its just tradition.
Our most recent worship service centered around 'gratitude.' At the conclusion of the service we were asked to spend some time talking to God, thanking Him for our blessings. We were all encouraged to come to the front of the church and kneel or kneel near our seats....AND we were encouraged to pray out loud, all at once.
When our pastor gave the instructions I could almost here the collective gasp and all the air being sucked from the room....BUT...when we begin to pray I could hear the collective amazing sound of voiced 'thanksgiving' and 'gratitude.' God was being glorified and the body of Christ was being edified (encouraged) by the prayers of fellow believers.
The sequence of coming to the altar and verbally praying out loud was out of our congregation's comfort zone, yet because we moved out of our comfort zone we experienced a great time of worship.
As worshipers and worship leaders it is easy to get stuck in a 'comfort zone' of worship and be lulled into a routine that requires little thought or engagement. To break out of the 'comfort zone' doesn't necessitate a dramatic change but it does require the willingness to change.
Here is our setlist that gives the outline of our services of February 12, 2012.
Prayer *I posted more about this prayer in my post of February 10, 2012
Song Great I AM
Prayer of Response *this is the place we all prayed together, individually and out loud.
This post is my contribution to the blog carnival Sunday Setlist which is found at The Worship Community.