Many congregations wrestle with the question of who should lead them in worship, especially in spoken prayer. Historically this has been the task of the pastor, but there is much to be gained by including the different voices of the congregation in the leading of prayer and in other parts of worship. Read the following testimony from one church that has moved toward such a practice and what they discovered along the way.
This guided intercessory prayer could be used for a variety of liturgical occasions, but may be most appropriate for Pentecost, World Communion Sunday, or another service that focuses on church unity.
In this prayer, Julia Esquivel teaches us the meaning of each intercession of the Lord’s Prayer as we pray, opening our minds and hearts to a greater understanding of our great God and to the experience of brothers and sisters in Christ in another part of the world. Though our congregations may not experience many of the situations mentioned, we can pray on behalf of those for whom these things are realities.
Note: You may choose to read the boldface portions either in English or in Spanish.
Pastors know that one of the most significant things they do in their ministry is pray for and with their parishioners. When the sorrow of a recent loss, or the fear of what a cancer may do, or the joy of two lives joined together compel people to ask their pastor (or anyone else!) to pray for them, the one sitting in the living room chair or beside the hospital bed is, in fact, standing on holy ground.