I’ve Decided To Pray In Church Of All Places

Published on August 15, 2011 by CT in Blog, Thoughts

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As I have been contemplating prayer of late, I’ve found my times of prayer to be growing in both occasion and place.  I find myself before God in prayer as I face a decision that needs to be made, or to ask Him wisdom as I read His word.  Or I find myself offering bursts of praise as I see His hand in a sunrise, or asking Him for grace when I need help with a hard conversation.  But I have also realized there is one place where I’m pretty certain to not be praying:  church.

You’d think this is all mixed up, and you would have a point.  But our church doesn’t have a specific time for congregational prayer.  We have corporate prayer, but I can just listen to a pastor pray over the service or the congregation without doing much of anything other than listening to him pray over the service or the congregation.  We also have prayer over the Word, and prayer over our singing, but again, I find it far too easy to watch rather than pray.

But Paul tells us to pray without ceasing, and I want to connect more deeply with God, so I’ve decided that I’m going to pray at church.  And short of disrupting everyone throughout the service with constant, outspoken prayers, I’ve realized there are plenty of opportunities to be praying.

  1. Pray as we drive in to churchGod, do a work in your people this morning, to open our eyes to Your glory and to awaken our affections for You above all other things.
  2. Pray as we walk in the doorGod, may I be a minister of grace to someone in need, and may You bring someone to minister to my needs as You see fit.
  3. Pray as the band begins to playGod, grant us to worship you together with united hearts of praise and adoration for Your name!
  4. Pray as we begin to sing:  [Insert song lyric, and mean it rather than mouth it].
  5. Pray as we shake each other’s hands for 15 secondsGod, love this person through me right now.  Give us words to build a relationship of mutual love and encouragement.
  6. Pray as the pastor prays for our service:  [As he prays], God, may this be so.  Do this, for Your glory and our joy.
  7. Pray as the teaching pastor walks on stageGod, grant His lips to speak and our ears to hear the wisdom and beauty of Your word, and awaken our minds to understand and our hearts to feel the weight of Your truth.
  8. Pray as the Word is being taughtGod, shine the light of your Word deep in my heart; show me my sin, reveal to me Your grace, teach me Your truth, and do this for all who are here.
  9. Pray as the gospel is being sharedGod, awaken faith in those who don’t know You.  Help them to see their sin and delight in Your mercy, and help them to respond to the gospel and receive Your Son as their righteousness, their Lord, their Savior, and their Treasure.
  10. Pray as we giveGod, I give because You own everything I have.  Multiply this offering to expand Your kingdom and the reach of Your name.
  11. Pray as we leave the sanctuaryGod, give me eyes to see friends to encourage and loners to befriend before I reach the door to leave.
  12. Pray as we talk to a friend in need:  [Stopping to pray during a discussion rather than saying “I’ll be sure to pray for you.”]
  13. Pray as we walk out the doorGod, consecrate this day for Your sake.  Help me to rest in You, obey Your Word, follow Your lead, and love others today while I have breath.

Pray with me this Sunday. And each day until then.  May God help us to see our need for Him throughout each day, and may we be found in unceasing prayer before His throne.

Question:  When do you pray at your church gathering?

  • https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1045835932 Judy Dowell

    What about when you are not at church. When do you pray? Chris, I really like your specific suggestions. I will take them to heart today and everyday!

    • http://cravesomethingmore.org Chris Tomlinson

      Judy, I pray at different times on different days.  I’d love to pray at all times on all days =).  I find that talking to God right when I get up is a good thing, or when I’m in a conversation with someone and need His help to speak wisdom and build them up, or when I’m preparing to write or to study, or when I’m burdened by thoughts or concerns, or when I’m driving to run errands, or when I’m going back to sleep at night.  Cultivating a heart and mind that is consistently oriented towards God in prayer is a challenge for sure, and one I want to continue to try and do.

  • http://www.facebook.com/cameron.bartlett1 Cameron Bartlett

    Thank you for your thoughts. I appreciate the challenge.
    My recent post “But, “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.” For it is not the one who comm…

  • Kuth

    Hi chris
    im currently reading your book ‘crave’. its just encouraged lots and it came at the right season in my life.

    our church has numerous praying times and yet…believers dont flock in at these times. it’s almost as if we have not found the secret or the passion of prayer. it is such a pity as praying is such a wonderful communion with God. To tell him all things is precious!