One Congregation's Prayer Life

Carol Mittelstaedt
Congregation Member
Nov 27, 2018

An insider look at one church's experience and practice, and an example of what an active prayer ministry might look like

Weekly Prayer Group

“Most churches spend more time praying to keeppeople out of heaven instead of praying them in.”

Although praying for the sick is important, a one hour weekly prayer group where the emphasis is on ministry not just praying for the sick is a gift to any congregation. The saints of God lifting up their prayers for the Holy Spirit to move in a mighty way in people’s lives mirrors those prayers of the disciples in the upper room. We felt we needed to be asking God to move hearts and change lives with his love.

  • Our church meets at 8 am on a Friday morning.
  • We sit on chairs in a semicircle before the altar of the church.
  • We then start with a hymn and have some moments of quiet to center our thoughts and minds on God’s presence.
  • We then turn to page 295, or you can turn to 296 or 297 in the Lutheran Service Book, depending on the time of your prayer group.
  • We start with the opening liturgical prayer and then read a psalm.
  • We then discuss the needs of our congregation, ministries and various groups of our church. We discuss what outreach needs we feel need prayer.
  • Then we pray.
  • We praise God and recognize his power to act.
  • We seek his guidance and for his will to be done.
  • We ask for a movement of his Spirit in the various ministries of our church.
  • We ask for God’s help and guidance for the pastor’s sermon and for the people’s hearts and minds to be receptive.
  • We pray that God would guide people to witness in their everyday lives and for people to be brought into our church community.
  • We pray that our people are discipled and encouraged in their faith.
  • Lastly we pray for the sick, the hurting and those who need a special touch.
  • We end with the concluding prayers in the hymnal.

Our congregation started with just two people in attendance and now 13 regularly come to pray together and lift up the ministry needs of the church. The goal is to seek the Lord and for his will to be done in this place.

40 Days of Prayer

Recently our church held a congregation wide emphasis on 40 Days of Prayer using materials by Pastor Rick Warren. Everyone who participated, loved it.

The material included sermons, DVD and small group material but with an emphasis on folks using the Daily Prayer Journals.

70 people joined one of several weekly groups and committed to praying daily using a prayer workbook. Each group watched the 25 minute DVD together and discussed the material presented. The groups kept people accountable and gave opportunity for people to break off into pairs to pray with each other in the group. The presentations were also available on Youtube and so a Facebook group was formed for those who could not attend a group.

Prayer Chain

We also have a prayer chain where the needs of the sick are shared. People are asked to stop what they are doing and pray for the person or situation listed.

In Worship

In addition, our church hands out in the bulletin a list of those seeking prayer and those petitions are prayed corporately in each of the worship services.

Submitted by Carol Mittelstaedt of St. James Lutheran Church, St. James, Long Island .

Carol Mittelstaedt

Carol is a member of St. James Lutheran Church, St. James, Long Island

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