Twenty Top Tips For Corporate Prayer in Worship: Part 1
"Prayer is not overcoming God's reluctance, but laying hold of His willingness." - Martin Luther.
"There is not in the world a kind of life more sweet and delightful than that of a continual conversation with God." - Brother Lawrence
"Take this most seriously: A yes on earth is yes in heaven; a no on earth is no in heaven. What you say to one another is eternal. I mean this. When two of you get together on anything at all on earth and make a prayer of it, my Father in heaven goes into action. And when two or three of you are together because of me, you can be sure that I'll be there." – Matthew 18: 18-20 MSG
Prayer in worship is a wonderful opportunity to listen and to respond. It’s the spiritual breath of a congregation; the inhalation and exhalation of God’s blessings and our praise and requests. It is life. It is sustenance. It is power.
Even though there are similarities between personal prayer time and corporate prayer time, there are also differences. Here are a few quick pointers for leading corporate prayer in worship services:
1. This may seem obvious but it truly is the starting point. Have a personal prayer life. This will not only help prayer to emanate from your heart, it will give you a greater flow in leading.
2. Pray out loud sometimes in your personal prayer time. This is a wonderful way to aid with concentration, to get used to your voice and to make prayer sound more natural and conversational.
3. Study prayers. There are wonderful prayer resources that date back through history that are rich with content and can serve as a catalyst for developing your own rich public prayer content.
4. When you are reading corporate prayer, look for a natural and yet well projected and engaging voice.
5. Consider the placement in the service. Is this an opening prayer, a prayer before communion, a closing prayer or other corporate experience? Your content should change to reflect that.
6. Be aware of what is going on in the world, the community and the church. You don’t have to read every newsfeed; this is not a sermon, it’s a prayer. You can ask people you serve to let you know if there are any major events going on that should be prayed about corporately. Sometimes in the flurry to get ready we may miss a major catastrophe in the news, the community or the congregation that morning.
7. Don’t be obsessed with yourself. The rest of the world isn’t. They’re not evaluating every word, every turn of phrase, every grammatical error. You are blessed just to have their attention. Relax.
8. You don’t need to pray for everything in every prayer every Sunday. Be led by the Spirit of God in your prayer times and then ensure that over the course of time there is diversity in your prayers.
9. Tie the prayer into the sermon, the sung worship time and other themes that are dominant in the service.
10.Consider purging some church phrases that have lost their meaning or impact.
This is part one of Twenty Top Tips For Corporate Prayer in Worship. I’ll be posting part two over the next few days.
In the meantime, if you are interested in joining my wife Elsa, myself and powerful teacher Hans Weichbrodt of Sweden on the pilgrimage of a lifetime to the Holy Land we would love to invite you along. This is more than just a ‘tourist trip’ – it’s a conference, a time of worship, and a gathering of joy-filled believers in the most sacred places on earth. We will also unpack the Hebraic practices within worship in order to enrich our worship today. We’re almost sold out so please visit our site today at www.breakforthjourneys.com