Repetition in Worship

Tomorrow morning, I am leading worship, and we are reciting the Phos Hilaron (Hilarious, or Gladdening Light) at the opening.

I hesitated to use it again, because we’ve done it so many times before. Then I came to my senses. The reason we need to do it again is because we’ve done it before. The joy of the prayer, of the hailing of the gladdening light of Christ, must roll around in us again and again. Linking us to brothers and sisters who have recited it repetitiously since the earliest of times, there can be no greater reason it bears repeating again.

There is a fine line between lifeless liturgy and memorized, internalized and realized prayer. That fine line exists in the heart of those who worship, and the presentation (liturgy, from liturgeo, meaning “the work of man”) can help freshen the most repeated of prayers.

The contemporary mind must care again for the lost art of long and frequent repetition, and revive it once again in our worship planning.


Phos Hilaron
E Joyous Light
E Indescribable
A Draw Me Close
D All Creatures Of Our God And King
G Home Again


Sheltering Mercy and Endless Grace help us rediscover the rich treasures of the Psalms—through free-verse prayer renderings of their poems and hymns—as a guide to personal devotion and meditation. Sheltering Mercy helps the reader pray Psalms 1-75; Endless Grace leads in prayer through Psalms 76-150.

The church has always used the Psalms as part of its prayer life, and they have inspired countless other prayers. Each book contains 75 prayers drawn from the Book of Psalms, providing lyrical sketches of what authors Ryan Smith and Dan Wilt have seen, heard, and felt while sojourning there. Each prayer is a response to the Psalms written in harmony with Scripture. These prayers help us quiet our hearts before God and welcome us into a safe place amid the storms of life.

These artful, poetic, and classic devotional books are a perfect gift, and feature compelling stunning illustrations and hardcover binding, offering a fresh way to reflect on and pray the Psalms. Co-written with Ryan Whitaker Smith, Brazos Publishing.

Pre-Order below, and join my email list, to get author notes and updates about the book and events around it. 

Get free eBooks and updates

Enter your email address to receive free ebooks, encouragements, updates, and news about events.
I'll only email you occasionally, and I always seek to send something that encourages you.