Of course this book is about preaching and worship services, and all that takes place within those contexts as the congregation gathers together and responds to the message from the pulpit. All Believers in the audience are there to smoothly, spiritually make the transition from the worldly issues outside to the heart of what God wants people to do. The book goes into great detail about the participation of those in attendance, about the importance of singing together, of praying together, and about the symbolism of breaking bread, which is "…a visible metaphor of how God's word works among the assembly" (Quivik, 14).
But moreover, this book opens the door to understanding and tugs on the sleeves of alert readers to reach out and find new meaning based on the truths, the metaphors, the imagery and the gospel that is presented by the author. Readers are challenged to understand the difference between "countercultural" and "cross-cultural" worship practices, and moreover readers are challenged to understand that little can be done in isolation from others or from the congregating of people seeking inspiration that leads to eternal life.
On page 70 Quivik summarizes the ultimate value of church services: "We do not acquire the vision of Jesus' identity on our own" because humans don't have "the wherewithal" to make that happen in seclusion. The church, and the service, and the meaning that is brought to the audience through a preacher's use of Scripture and interpretation and metaphor, can bring Jesus' vision and his resurrection into excellent focus.
Preaching and Prayer
"Prayer has inexplicable necessity," Quivik explains on page 12, because Believers have been practicing prayer for centuries "…in search of personal revelation." Whether in the desert, or while weaving and doing other "handwork," or while making music or writing, people who believe in prayer seek God's "intervention" in search of peace and well-being for the communities, the author explains (12). That said, in the Christian worship service pastors conduct "intercessory prayer" in the belief that God will hear the concerns of the congregation vis-a-vis the "needs of the world" (Quivik, 12).
Hence, the author is teaching the reader what intercessory prayer is designed to do within the context of a Christian worship service. Apart from the personal prayers -- in search of personal understanding and clarity -- intercessory prayer is seen as a different kind of prayer. Quivik explains that intercessory prayer is the church congregation's begging of God to intervene and offer wisdom "…for the sake of the earth, for all people of faith, the nations, communities, and local concerns" (12).
After all, she continues, "Christians pray because God commanded us to pray"; and when the pastor offers an intercessory prayer -- for example, for those tens of thousands of refugees huddled in tents without ample water or food in Africa -- it an unselfish prayer for others, for those where "suffering needs to be met with deep compassion" (12).
While Quivik's narrative on intercession is plainly laid out for the reader to digest, there are other approaches to this concept and part of the power of a book like Quivik's is that it leads the reader to seek additional materials, new thoughts, as regards what Quivik is presenting. Quivik goes about opening one's eyes to revelation through her narrative, which leads the reader to become more widely focused and on a path of investigation and learning. "Intercession is much more" than just pleading with God for his help in the world, according to the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN). Intercession involved "…taking hold of God's will and refusing to let go until His will comes to pass." The metaphor used by the CBN is warfare, in an attempt to help the reader grasp the true meaning of intercessory prayer.
'Intercessory prayer is a serious matter," the CBN explains, and "…just like the soldiers who are preparing for battle, we cannot take on the enemy if we leave our weapons behind." Hence, Christians use intercessory prayer to be fully "armed for spiritual conflict." The "armor that God gives" -- prayer -- helps defeat Satan, and remember, the CBN article continues, "intercessory prayer is also a prayer that doesn't give up…[it] overcomes every obstacle."
To restate what was presented earlier in this paper, reading Quivik opens readers' eyes and that opens…