Prayer Twist on a Powerful PracticeMost churches have some form of Scripture reading during a morning worship service. It may be in the form of a responsive reading, a recitation by the congregation, or a leader or lay person reading a passage from the platform. The declaration of Scripture is a powerful practice. But with a simple twist from time to time you can add a dynamic prayer element that can teach people to pray Scripture.
The idea is not just to recite Scripture or hear it read (there’s nothing wrong with that practice, of course), but to add an element where people pray those Scriptures into each other or themselves, or their city, neighborhood, etc. This can be done in a variety of creative ways.
Instead of having a leader recite a phrase and the congregation read the next phrase in unison as in typical responsive readings, have the leader read a verse or two, then have the congregation recite a prayer, based on those verses.
Go back and forth a few times with three or four sections. This not only allows the congregation to hear God’s Word, but it teaches them to pray it.
After reading a passage relevant to God transforming a community, such as Jeremiah 29:4–7, have the congregation pray prayers related to the content of the passage. You can either provide specific Scripture-based prayers to pray or let them pray their own.
Praying the Pastor’s Passage
Another dynamic practice that can solidify the points of your pastor’s sermon is to pray Scripture at the close of the message. Ask your pastor to give you his sermon passage and the applications he wants to leave with people. Then develop some personal prayers that people can pray for themselves. You can put it on the screen, write it out ahead of time for the bulletin, or pass it out as people leave. Providing time at the end of the service to pray in response to the sermon allows people to solidify the scriptural application in their hearts.
If you feel weak in developing Scripture prayers for your congregation, there are several prayer guides you can use to prompt your creativity—available at prayershop.org.