… “Pray then like this:
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. (Let) your kingdom come, (let) your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptations, but deliver us from evil.
Revitalizing our Prayer Time
Teach us to pray…
We have recently begun live-streaming our worship services. This technology makes our prayer time together much more accessible but also more public. We want our prayers for the needs of people we care about to be specific, but we also want to honor the confidentiality of medical diagnoses and treatments and be otherwise sensitive to the concerns of family members.
Instead of the detailed requests being announced within the congregation, we want to encourage those conversations to be held first in smaller groups and then given in advance of the worship service unless they are personal and immediate. We have a digital prayer request form and prayer cards will be available in the worship service. We have a private prayer group on Facebook and we have weekly church prayer meetings with video conferencing available.
Our leaders will work to make sure that the person or family in need can be contacted before we share it from the pulpit. But we are still going to pray for every request as a church that we can bring to our minds during worship. The plan for how to do that is already given to us by Jesus. This is also how we can make sure that our prayers are focused mainly on God and our need for him during our worship. We can use the model of prayer given to us by Jesus to guide our prayer time in our worship service. Our prayers together can and should be interactive as we try to lead and bear one another’s burdens. We want you to have a chance to participate and write out or plan in advance how you will pray.
- Our Father who is in heaven, hallowed be your name. As a congregation, we want to recall just how holy God’s name is. We want to use scripture to shape how we honor his name, even as we are praying.
- Let your kingdom come, let your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. We want to think of how God is using our church to make the gospel of the kingdom known in our community and to all the earth. This includes praying for our lost friends, families and neighbors by name. Pray for disciples to be made here and in all nations. Be specific as to name and need as we pray together for lost people and unreached and under reached groups of people.
- Give us this day our daily bread… This is where we need to mention the specific needs within our congregation. If we know of urgent needs in our larger community, pray for them now within the gathering. Pray out loud, pray quietly, or silently as the Holy Spirit leads each of us.
- …and forgive us our debts as we also have forgiven our debtors. Now is when we examine ourselves. We have sins that we bring into worship unintentionally, and we may be harboring unforgiveness toward other people. This is where we repent publicly and safely. Let the Holy Spirit lead you in repentance.
- And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. Even here in worship and praying in groups together, we are not exempt from temptation and we should remind ourselves and each other of the real dangers in temptations. We need to be able to recognize temptation as spiritual warfare. We don’t need to see other people as our enemy in prayer, we can all be deceived by the enemy of our souls. Remind each other out loud as the Spirit leads of the possible temptation we might face here and in the week ahead.
- For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever, AMEN. Return to meditations from scripture on God’s holiness, his authority, his sovereignty and his goodness in giving us what we need.