Thank you for your willingness to lead our congregation in prayer. The Worship Committee offers the following guidelines and suggestions for leading morning intercessory prayer.
- Remember that the intercessory prayer is a corporate act. Try to formulate what you say in such a way that everyone present will be able to “own” what you pray on their behalf. “We” language is preferable to “I” language. Be sensitive to the diversity of opinions on controversial issues; avoid giving any impression of partisanship.
- Keep in mind the primary purpose of the prayer. While it may certainly include elements of confession, adoration, and thanksgiving, its chief focus should be petition and intercession. There is no need to duplicate the prayers of confession, thanksgiving, etc. that occur elsewhere in the liturgy. Nor is there any need to provide a “prayer of application” for the sermon, though you may wish to build parts of the prayer around themes or images suggested by the Scripture readings or sermon.
- Pray for a variety of needs. Areas traditionally covered in intercessory prayer include:
- The church in all places, and especially or own congregation;
- The nations of the world, our own nation, and all those in authority;
- The welfare of the world, all who labor, and each of us in our daily callings;
- Particular concerns of the local community;
- Those who are suffering or in trouble.
- Be sure to include any special prayer requests received from members of the congregation, those suggested by bulletin announcements, etc. Consider as well long-term needs and “non-crisis” daily concerns of families, single persons, students, etc. It is always appropriate to include thanks for births, marriages, answered prayers, and other occasions for rejoicing.
- Keep in mind that no one prayer can do everything. A prayer that is simple and direct will usually be more effective than one that is overly long or elaborate. Three minutes long is a helpful target. We encourage you to build silence into the prayer too – our morning worship is word-filled. Some moments of silence might be helpful for the prayer time.
- Remember that you are among friends. You are not performing for an audience but serving a community; those who are praying with you appreciate your willingness to lead.
Come to the chapel 15 minutes before the beginning of the service in order to receive prayer requests and participate in the pre-service prayer.