Building Community Through Prayer: A new kind of prayer service helped our congregation

The service “Building Community Through Prayer” was submitted by Sandy Boersma, worship committee chair of the Brookfield (Wisconsin) Christian Reformed Church.

Traditionally we have held our prayer services in the sanctuary, with selected members praying on selected topics. But last year we held the service in our fellowship hall. We sat in a semicircle and asked people to pray using the ACTS pattern—adoration, confession, thanksgiving, and supplication. The service was led by an elder since we were without a pastor. We left time after each prayer for anyone to add their own prayers aloud or silently (for the prayer of confession). Each prayer ended with a sung prayer. A high school senior led the singing on her guitar; all the songs were familiar, with texts provided on the printed worship sheet.

The response to this service, a first for us, was amazing. We had people of all ages—including children as young as six, adding their prayers. All in all, this service was an important way for us to build community within our congregation.

—Sandy Boersma


Greetings and Welcome


Scripture: Psalm 145:1-7 (read responsively)


“Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing” PsH 486, PH 356, RL 449, TH 400, TWC 45
“Beautiful Savior” PsH 461

Prayers of Adoration concluded by singing “Father, I Adore You” PsH 284, SFL 28, TWC 4


Scripture: Psalm 51:1-17

Prayers of Confession followed by a time of silent prayer and ending with singing “Jesu, Jesu, Fill Us with Your Love” PsH 601, PH 367, SFL 251, TWC 436


Scripture: Psalm 100


“All Creatures of Our God and King” PsH 431, PH 455, RL 4, SFL 86, TWC 356
“Let All Things Now Living” (see p. 38)

Prayers of Thanksgiving concluded by singing “We Praise You, O God” PsH 237, TH 83, 377


Scripture: John 14:12-14; Matthew 6:33; 7:7-8; 11:28-30; 1 John 5:14

Prayers of Supplication concluded by singing “Lord, Listen to Your Children Praying” PsH 625, SFL 54, TWC 629

Parting Blessing: Jude 24-25

Reformed Worship 52 © June 1999, Calvin Institute of Christian Worship. Used by permission.