LitBit Feature – Invocation
The Opening Prayer of Invocation. The opening of prayer in many liturgies is a prayer of invocation. This prayer includes story-telling, thanksgiving and the invocation itself. The story-telling is the means by which we identify which God it is we are talking to. Consider the opening line of the Decalogue (the Ten Commandments): “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.” The God who addresses Israel here has a name, “Yahweh” (typically translated in English Bibles as Lord, with small capitals), and a history: “brought you out of Egypt”. The thanksgiving notes that the history God has with us is a saving one: “out of the house of slavery”. The invocation itself indicates that we cannot presume upon God’s being with us: God is free and is not simply “present” as divine ether waiting for us to acknowledge him. The call to God reflects the call to the people to gather to hear in the preceding Call to Worship.