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Creative Ways to Infuse Your Worship Service with Prayer

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Written by Phil Miglioratti

Consider these ideas for infusing your worship service with prayer.

  1. Pray in pairs

    Between verses of a hymn, invite the congregation to pray in pairs, focusing on the lyrics they have just sung.

  2. Use the lyrics of a song as a prayer

    Between verses of a choir selection, have someone prepared to pray (on microphone or standing in the congregation), using the lyric of the preceding verse to focus the prayer.

  3. Invite worshipers to write a praise or petition on a card

    Instruct them to bring the cards to the front and place them in a basket at any time during the worship service, whenever the Holy Spirit prompts them.

  4. Guide prayer using introductory remarks:

    “As a sign of our praise and adoration of God, please stand;” or

    “As a sign of our humility, please kneel (if you are physically able) as we confess our sins;” or

    “As a sign of our unity in Christ, please form a group with three or four others. We will recite the Lord’s Prayer together.”

  5. Invite families to pray

    Invite parents and children to pray together-holding hands, forming circles, or walking together to pray at the altar.

  6. Invite prayer following songs

    Ask the congregation to pray silently after each worship song, using the song’s lyrics to focus their prayers. Select songs that establish a flow of thought-praise, repentance, intercession, commitment.

  7. Use visuals to focus prayer:

    Banners -”Great is the Lord!”;

    Flags -”Pray for the nation of ___;”

    Posters -”Our youth are reminding us of their summer mission trip;”

    Bulletin inserts -”Today, with churches across the country, we are asking God for improved race relations;”

    PowerPoint® - “Pray with your eyes open. Offer a prayer for each of these needs.” Use words, images, photographs, or people’s faces.

  8. Spend a series of Sundays praying for various church ministries:

    “This morning, as our Sunday School teachers and workers stand among us, we will pray for them and the people they serve. Please focus on someone near you. Walk over to that person and pray aloud for God’s blessing as that person serves God in our Sunday School.”

  9. Invite prayer in response to special music

    Ask the congregation to listen prayerfully to the song being sung (solo or ensemble). Then invite everyone to stand and respond with small-group prayer.

  10. Invite the congregation to pray in pairs before the offering is taken:

    “This morning, before we invite you to offer your gifts to God (the offering), please find a partner and ask the Lord to bless what we are giving and to use it for His glory.”

  11. Use Scripture for guided prayer:

    “As I read this morning’s Scripture, I will pause after each section and invite you to pray, using the verses we have just heard to direct our prayers.”

  12. Use the church prayer list or specific church ministries to guide a prayer:

    “Please take your bulletin (or the church prayer list) with you as we form groups of three or four. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you to one of the activities or ministries as you pray for our church. You may be led to pray for our staff or that all of us as members will be faithful to our mission (or vision) statement.”

  13. Voice brief prayers during an instrumental

    Ask someone to voice brief prayers that will help the congregation focus their thoughts during an instrumental. Pause after each voiced prayer to allow time for silent prayer in the church.

  14. Pray for ministry leaders

    When the children or youth or a specific ministry group sings before the congregation, invite their leaders to come forward after the song; pray for the leaders and the entire group.

  15. Voice prayers in response to choir specials

    In advance ask several people to be prepared to pray after a choir anthem, basing their prayer on the message of the song.

  16. After the message, invite people to pray in groups before the final song.

Phil Miglioratti is head of the National Pastors Prayer Network in Palatine, Illinois