Roster Role: Ash 6pm Prayers

The scriptures urge us to pray when we meet together. Paul urges Timothy that “supplications, prayers, intercessions and thanksgivings be made” as part of how we are to behave in the household of God (1 Tim 2.1, 3.15), and calls the Thessalonian church to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thess. 5:17). However, we shouldn't be anxious about praying - our Father knows what we need (Matt. 6:32) and we can come before him with confidence because he loves us (Jn 16:26-27).

Time Commitment

  • Frequency: Prayer volunteers are generally put on the roster every 6 weeks at most
  • In advance: at least 20 minutes of preparation before coming to church
  • Before the service: Those leading in prayer are invited to join the other up-front contributors to pray for the service 15 minutes before the start time.

What does a win look like?

  • We have prayed for “all people”, for “kings and all who are in authority” (1 Tim. 2:1-2) and for the sick (James 5:13-18)
  • We have prayed for our own church and the wider Christian church, particularly our linked ministries
  • We have prayed for our local community
  • We have prayed corporately (in a way that everyone can say “amen” to)

Keys to winning

  • Because we pray together, the form should always be “we praise you”, “we thank you”, “we ask for...”
  • Don't forget to say “amen” at the end, so that everyone else can too.
  • You will receive with the run sheet the linked ministry prayer points for the week, which you should include in your prayers.
  • The prayer book collects are good examples of corporate prayer, albeit in dated language. In particular their structure is often helpful:
    • address to God (‘Gracious God’ or ‘Heavenly Father’, but not “dear God” which is a letter form)
    • something about God that is relevant to the prayer (eg. ‘We know you rule all the nations of the world, and no corner of the earth is beyond your reach’)
    • the need (eg. ‘we live in a world where many rulers oppress rather than serve etc’), including appropriate specific details.
    • the actual request (eg. ‘please bring justice and peace’)
    • the basis of the prayer (eg. ‘through Jesus Christ, who is the prince of peace’)
  • Sometimes the run sheet indicates prayers “based on the Lord's prayer”. This means the congregation will not be saying the Lord's prayer together and you should intersperse particular prayer points between lines of the Lord's prayer, for example:
    “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.
    We honour you as the one above all, who created us and deserves our obedience. [...]
    Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as in heaven
    We look forward to the day when Jesus comes in glory; as we wait, please build many people
    from our area into your kingdom and lead us to obey you in everything [...]”

  • If the service has the Lord's prayer straight after the general prayers, it is usually appropriate for you to lead the Lord's prayer – liaise with the service leader about this.
  • The traditional prayer book structure for prayers can be a useful guide:
    • Prayer for the church - This prayer includes prayer for church from its worldwide level to the local level. In the prayer book, it included prayer for church leaders, especially the Bishop and Rector of the local church.
    • Prayer for all people - This includes prayer for the world and its troubles, and especially for those in positions of authority.
    • Prayer for the community - This includes prayer for wider society at a local level, i.e. for the neighbourhood, local families, etc.
    • Prayer for those in need - This includes prayer for the sick and all who are suffering.
    • Thanksgiving for the faithful departed - This is a prayer of thanks for any Christians who have died, and that we would follow their good example of faith.
  • Occasionally the run sheet will call for the prayer leader to collect prayer points from the congregation, and include these in the general prayers. In order to pray for the collected points without it becoming a jumbled mess, start with a piece of paper divided into 4 sections, and write points in one of the 4 sections. Then, when praying, you can pray for similar items together.
    • Healing
    • Ministry
    • Thanksgiving
    • Other