Position on Corporate Prayer
The purpose of this article is to document principles we practice regarding prayer in worship gatherings. These principles are intended to be applied out of love for God and care for people, with an attitude of humility, patience and encouragement.
Why do we pray?
We pray to express our thoughts (Mat 6:13), emotions (Mat 6:9) and aspirations (Mat 6:10) to God, to profess our delight in Him (Ps 34:8, 37:4) and dependence on Him (Jn 15:5).
- we praise God for who He is and what He has done (Ps 34:4-8);
- we confess our sins to Him and rejoice for His forgiveness (1 Jn 1:9);
- we petition that His will be done (Mat 6:10) in the life of members of our church;
- we plead for His help (Ps 50:15) in favor of our neighbors (Ac 2:47, 7:59-60), including our families, friends, other believers (Luk 22:31-32) and people exercising leadership (Rom 13:1,4) in our country;
- we invoke God's intervention in global conflicts (2 Ki 19:14-19, Mat 5:44); and we ask God for help to the persecuted Church (Rom 15:30-32).
How do we pray?
Some of our prayers are spontaneous (Ac 4:24-31); others are scripted (Ps 150). Usually led by people praying in turn, our corporate prayers are concluded with a congregational "Amen!" to signal our joint affirmation of said prayers.
We consider singing to God a form of prayer. Since our worship songs are typically scripted, we promote diversity in congregational prayer by encouraging (non-exclusive) use of non-scripted spoken prayer during worship gatherings. We pray to the Father (Jn 15:16), in the name of the Son (Jn 15:16), by the power of the Holy Spirit (Eph 6:18), throughout worship gatherings, from the call to worship to the final blessing (Nom 6:24-26).