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Friday, September 9, 2011

Twenty Top Tips For Corporate Prayer in Worship: Part 2

This is Part 2 of Twenty Top Tips for Corporate Prayer in Worship. To read Part 1, click here.

11.    Match the mood and delivery of the prayer to the mood and placement within the service.

12.    Pray a song. Many songs (both ancient hymns and contemporary choruses) are actually prayers. There are many forms this can take such as praying a verse or chorus together, speak the prayer antiphonally (responsively) alternating between lines from leader to congregation, or singing a verse and chorus and then being instructed to quietly pray thematically about the words in that verse.

13.    Have a quiet time of meditative personal prayer, often with a quiet music bed underneath for cohesion. You may wish to give suggestions on this to help those who are new to prayer or to create a unified prayer voice within the congregation.

14.    Break your prayers down to one short thematic sentence with a 10-30 second silence in between for people to pray for that need or to thank God for that gift. Repeat for several minutes.

15.    If your church’s comfort level is high enough for this, consider breaking up into small groups of 2 – 5 people for prayer. You can either leave the prayer format to the groups or ask someone to volunteer to lead in prayer within the group. Please be cautious with this format if you are dealing with new Christians or seekers.

16.    Again, if your church is comfortable enough with this, have a prayer walk by walking around the church exterior and/or the interior where people are prompted to pray for what they sense in front of them. (for example, the children’s Sunday School rooms may prompt them to pray for the children and their teachers, the bulletin board may prompt them to pray for events, the foyer may prompt them to pray for visitors, etc.)

17.    Focus on being a “sent people” within your church, reaching out in prayer to the community, the nation and beyond.

18.    Definitely pray for those in need within your church body but make sure that this isn’t all you are praying for. Generally speaking, the older and / or smaller the congregation the more you need to watch this with caution so you maintain a healthy “mission” ratio in prayer.

19.    Consider use of prayer ‘helps’ such as prayer painting (like we will offer at Break Forth Canada 2012), icons, scents (i.e.- fresh baking bread), prayer bowls, listening to sounds (running water, thunder, wind in rustling leaves, etc.) or other helps.
20.Total, complete, utter, ultimate, uninterrupted silence.  

Corporate prayer was one of the cornerstones of the early church gatherings as we see in Acts 2:42, “They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.”  I pray that it becomes a critical cornerstone of every Christian church around the world.

One of your most important callings in the worship service is to enrich and engage your church in meaningful corporate prayer. God will richly bless your leadership in this area.

Where do we go from here? Over the next couple of weeks I'll cover closing songs, benedictions and postludes.  Then we're wrapped on worship service elements. After that, it's on to practical application. I'm looking forward to sharing all the things I've learned with you from the many mistakes I've made.  

If you're interested in digging in deeper on Prayer consider attending Break Forth Canada 2012. Join 15,000 people from over 1,000 churches from all over the world!

As a part of our 170+ classes and workshops we are holding an All-Day Pre-Conference Intensive Learning Workshop on Prayer as well as elective classes over two days. We usually sell out fast so I encourage you to check it out right away if you are interested. Rates start as low as $99! 

We also feature worship leaders and artists including Paul Baloche, Robin Mark, Brenton Brown, Jared Anderson, Audrey Assad, Third Day, Jars of Clay, Jeremy Camp, Starfield, Downhere and more. Featured speakers include Erwin McManus, Anne Graham Lotz, Tony Campolo, Nick Vujicic, Wess Stafford, Josh McDowell, Jill Briscoe, Stuart Briscoe, Bill & Pam Farrel, Bill Donahue, Sean McDowell, Colin McCartney, Kenny Luck, Panic Squad and many more. 

Click on the logo below for more information: