What We Do to Encourage Prayer

Shirley Algozzine
Oct 30, 2017

A glimpse of what Resurrection Lutheran Church in Cairo NY does to encourage prayer among the congregation

Editor's Note: Prayer is an essential part of the life of a Christ-follower, but it is also a critically important part of the life of a congregation. Everything from worship to meetings, prayer not only aligns our focus and invokes the Holy Spirit, but it is a way directly interact with God. Resurrection Lutheran Church in Cairo NY has shared a working document that outlines an intentional prayer-life of their congregation


(in addition to regular prayers during worship)

Congregational Prayer Requests

These are received by phone, in person, or email during the week prior. A Prayer Request Form is kept in Narthex – Worshipers (or people in & out of building during the week) write prayer requests as they come for worship, usher brings list as worship begins, to include in prayers for the day.

“Keep in your prayers during this week"

Printed weekly take-home list of people & situations.

Monthly Prayer & Anointing

1st Sunday of every month, immediately following Holy Communion, worshipers desiring individual prayer & anointing by Pastor(s) are invited to the altar. Specific prayer requests are prayed for, or a general prayer is offered.

Weekly Prayer Opportunity

Every Sunday (& special services), immediately following Closing Hymn, worshipers may come to altar for confidential personal prayer with their choice of Deacon (female) or Elder Minister (male).


(in addition to regular opening & closing prayers)

Bible Classes & Small Group Bible Studies

  1. Leaders are encouraged to include prayer needs & thanksgivings of participants in their closing prayers. When appropriate, group members are encouraged to offer their own prayer out loud.
  2. Bible class on Prayer offered occasionally.

“Prayer With Purpose”

Each Sunday during August, RLC members & friends are invited to gather for a time (20-30 minutes) of directed prayer during our Christian Education Hour in the Sanctuary. Prayers are offered for our Country, our Community, our Church. Led by the Pastor or Deacon. (Outline & suggested prayer topics is available.)


We seek creative ways to offer prayer opportunities to community members during outreach occasions. Two Examples:

  • Food Pantry – During 3 large Holiday giveaways each year, while recipients wait, the Pastor, Deacon, and/or Elder will intentionally interact with community members & offer “Can I pray for you right now about that?” when appropriate.
  • Youth Fair
    • At our Outreach Table we place a “Prayer Requests” box for visitors to write prayer & leave requests. After the event, a small team gathers to pray for these.
    • Pastor(s), Deacon, & other RLC members if so led, have also been seen praying with a visitor or table host right there at the Outreach Table.

Informal Prayer

It is common for Pastor(s) or Deacon to be seen praying with an individual or family on weekdays or evenings in various locations inside or outside the building. As normal conversation flows, peoples’ needs are mentioned. With that, “Can I pray for you right now?” is offered.

Drop-In Prayer

Members & Friends stop in at the church or call for personal prayer with the Pastor(s) or Deacon. Personal prayer requests are often received by Email as well.

Future Prayer Opportunities

Multiple “Prayer With Purpose” Opportunities – Instead of the one concentrated time period listed above, we may offer 3 or 4 regular “Prayer With Purpose” opportunities:

  1. 1st Sun. of the month during the “Christian Education Hour” (9:15 am - between 8:15 & 10:30 services);
  2. 1st Sun. of the month following 10:30 worship (during Coffee Hr.);
  3. Once a month on Wed. evenings, before or after regular Small Group Study or in conjunction with mid-wk. Advent & Lenten services;
  4. Once a month around noontime (lunch hr. for those working & for those available daytimes). Led, according to availability, by Pastor(s), Deacon or Elder.

Shirley Algozzine

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