Dear Lord and Father,
Thank you that you promise us that where two or three are gathered you are there in the midst.
Lord we welcome You amongst us today and celebrate the gift of life that you have lavished upon each of us.
We ask that You would open our ears so that we may hear your voice.
Open our minds so that we may receive Your eternal wisdom.
Open our spirits so that we may know Your leading and guidance.
And open our hearts so that we may receive Your wonderful love.
We ask all this in the glorious name of Jesus.
Here is a collection of opening and closing prayers that can be used
for meetings, sunday school classes, and prayer groups.
Also, we invite you to add your own opening or closing prayers using the form at the bottom of this page.
“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another ” and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
Prayer to Open a Meeting
Lord, as we gather today at this meeting we ask that
You will be in our midst. Help us to make decisions that will be
pleasing to You. Help us to be able to discuss the matters at
hand in a reasonable way, and to be willing to give up having our own way.
God let this meeting be productive and, as should be the case
in all areas of our lives, help us to keep You at the forefront of our minds
as we do the work set before us.
Prayer Before Sunday School
Jesus as we gather together to learn about You,
may You meet us here. Help all of the teachers to be able
to answer the questions posed, and help all of the children
listen and retain what they hear.
Help the students to be attentive, and the teachers
to be patient. May the lessons that are taught help to
instill righteousness in these children, and may the seeds
planted here continue to guide them throughout their lives.
Teachers Prayer Before Class
You, O God, are my strength, my patience, my light and my counsel.
It is you who make responsive to me the students confided to my care.
Abandon me not to myself for one moment.
For my own conduct and for that of my students, grant me the spirit
of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of knowledge and piety,
the spirit of holy fear of you, and an ardent zeal to procure your glory.
I unite my efforts to those of Jesus Christ, the master teacher,
and I beg all saints in Heaven to assist me in the exercise of my teaching ministry.
Prepare Our Minds
O God of truth, prepare our minds
To hear and heed your holy word;
Fill every heart that longs for you
With your mysterious presence, Lord.
Almighty Father, with your Son
And blessed Spirit, hear our prayer:
Teach us to love eternal truth
And seek its freedom everywhere.
Check out our prayer meeting ideas.
Prayer to Close a Meeting
As we close this meeting, Lord, we want to give honor to You.
Thank You, God, for the time we had today to discuss issues and make decisions.
May You bless each person who took the time to gather here today and let
Your hand of protection be on them throughout the rest of the week.
Let the work done here tonight come to fruition, and let it all be
for Your glory. Help us each to do our parts to bring the plans discussed to life.
End of Service Prayer
God we thank You for meeting us here tonight, and for delivering
Your Word through the speaker. May each soul in this place have been
touched through the songs and the preaching, and may each take to heart
the Word that came forth.
We pray that those seeking an answer received it, and that those
who needed a special touch were granted that touch. Bless each of us
and keep us safe until we are able to gather together again.
In Jesus’ name we pray.
Go forth in peace, for you have followed the good road.
Go forth without fear, for God who created You has made you holy,
has always protected you, and loves you as a mother.
Now go into the world with confidence, trusting that Christ is walking with you.
“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.”
Read bible verses about Teachers or Missions.
A good way to introduce an Opening Prayer or a Prayer of Adoration is to simply say, “Let us pray.”
If the prayer is not printed in the bulletin, you may construct the prayer in your own words. This prayer should be brief and to the point. It should contain elements of praise and adoration. If there is no Prayer of Confession in the service, it is good to include an element of confession in this prayer.If there is an obvious theme for the day’s service, such as a national tragedy that has occurred or an installation of elders, feel free to use that theme as a part of the prayer.You may also want to have the prayer reflect the Christian calendar. The following are simply suggestions. You may use any of these prayers verbatim, or to help you construct your own prayer.1. Almighty God,
unto whom all hearts are open,
all desires known,
and from whom no secrets are hid;
Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of thy Holy Spirit,
that we may perfectly love thee,
and worthily magnify thy holy Name;
through Christ our Lord. Amen.
We come with joy to worship you.
Forgive our sins
that this joy may be pure.
Receive our praise and adoration
that you may be blessed by our worship.
Speak to us through your Word,
that we may hear your guidance for our lives.
In the name of Christ we pray, Amen.
3. Almighty God,
who pours out on all who desire it
the spirit of grace and supplication;
deliver us, when we draw near to thee,
from coldness of heart
and wanderings of mind,
that with steadfast thoughts
and kindled affections,
we may worship thee in spirit and in truth;
through Jesus Christ our Lord we pray, Amen.
4. For AdventO Lord:
Keep us awake and alert, watching for your kingdom.
Make us strong in our faith
so we may greet your Son when he comes,
and joyfully give him praise.
5. Christmas EveGive us, O God,
such love and wonder,
that with shepherds and wise men and pilgrims unknown,
we may come to adore the holy child, the promised King;
and with our gifts worship him,
our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
6. Christmas EveAs you come into the stillness of night, great God,
enter our lives this night.
Overcome darkness with the light of Christ’s presence,
so that we may clearly see the way to walk,
the truth to speak,
and the life to live for him,
7 Epiphany (January 6th)God our Father,
who by a star led people from far away to see the child Jesus:
draw us and all people to Christ,
so that praising you now,
we may in life come to meet you face to face.
Through Jesus Christ we pray, Amen.
8 LentAlmighty God: you know that in this world we are under great pressure.
At times, we cannot stand.
We yield to temptation and fall into sin.
Stiffen our resolve and make faith strong,
so we may dig in against temptation and, by your power, overcome;
through Jesus Christ we pray. Amen.
9 LentAlmighty God,
your Son fasted forty days in the wilderness,
and was tempted as we are but did not sin.
Give us grace to direct our lives
in obedience to your Spirit,
that as you know our weakness,
so we may know your power to save;
through Jesus Christ our Redeemer,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever. Amen.
10 Lent Almighty and most merciful God,
kindle within us the fire of love,
that by its cleansing flame we may be purged of all our sins
and made worthy to worship you in spirit and in truth;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
11 Lent O Lord God,
you led your people through the wilderness
and brought them to the promised land.
So guide us.
Enable us to follow our Savior,
so that we may walk through the wilderness of this world
toward the glory of the world to come;
through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever. Amen.
12Almighty God, we pray for your blessing
on the church in this place.
Here may the faithful find salvation,
and the careless be awakened.
Here may the doubting find faith,
and the anxious be encouraged.
Here may the tempted find help,
and the sorrowful find comfort.
Here may the weary find rest,
and the strong be renewed.
Here may the aged find consolation
and the young be inspired;
through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen
13O God, you pour out the Spirit of grace and love.
Deliver us from cold hearts and wandering thoughts,
that with steady minds and burning zeal
we may worship you in spirit and truth, Amen.
Have you ever been reading your Bible and noticed how Paul prays such rich, kingdom-saturated prayers for churches?
- For the church in Thessalonica: “To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power” (2 Thess. 1:11; see also 1 Thess. 1:9–13).
- For the church in Colossae: “We have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God” (Col. 1:9–10).
- For the church in Ephesus: “I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him” (Eph. 1:16–17; see also 3:14–21).
- For the church in Rome (Rom. 15:14–33) and the church in Philippi (Phil. 1:9–11).
Of course, there’s far more where this came from. See Don Carson’s excellent book on the topic, Praying with Paul: A Call to Spiritual Reformation (Baker) , as well as TGC’s corresponding eight-session group study curriculum (LifeWay) .
Leading the Charge
It’s comparatively easy for you and me to pray for ourselves, our families, and our friends. But how can we learn how to pray more fervently and consistently for our local churches?
For one, we just need to start doing it—and encouraging others to do so.
To help with that, here are 18 things you can pray for your church. They aren’t as rich as Paul’s since I wanted to keep them simple and Twitter-length. (Also because I’m not inspired.) Still, perhaps you could print out this article and pray two or three of the points below per day for the next week—maybe in your quiet time, maybe at the family dinner table.
Also, consider copying and pasting your favorite prayers below into Twitter or Facebook, led by the phrase “Pray for your church: . . .” Don’t insert my Twitter handle or TGC’s. You don’t have enough room, and it’s not the point. The point is to use your social media platform to encourage others to pray for their church.
Who knows? One day in glory, perhaps we’ll see all the good accomplished from believers being more deliberate about praying for their churches.
What to Pray For
1. That we would have unity amid diversity—loving those with whom we have nothing in common but the gospel.
2. That a culture of discipling would form in which making disciples is viewed as an ordinary part of the Christian life.
3. That faithful elders would use Scripture to train members to do the work of ministry.
4. That a hunger for studying the gospel would form among members so that they can guide and guard one another in it.
5. That transparent, meaningful relationships would become normal and remaining anonymous strange.
6. The preaching of God’s Word—that it would be biblically careful and Holy Spirit imbued.
7. That elders would remain above reproach, kept from temptation, complacency, idols, and worldliness.
8. That the church’s songs would teach members to biblically confess, lament, and praise.
9. That the church’s prayers would be infused with biblical ambitions, honesty, and humility.
10. That adult members would work to disciple teenagers and not just leave it to programming.
11. That the church’s primary teachers grow in dedication to God’s Word even when no one’s watching.
12. That it would grow in being distinct from the world in love and holiness, even as it engages outsiders.
13. That members would share the gospel this week—and see more conversions!
14. That members would be prepared for persecution, remembering to love, not curse, their persecutors.
15. That hopes for political change would be outstretched by the hope of heaven.
16. That giving would be faithul, as well as joyful, consistent, and sacrificial.
17. That more members would use their careers to take the gospel to places it’s never been.
18. That members would be good and do good in their workplaces this week.
Can you think of something I didn’t include? Then pray it and share it! This is hardly the “official list” of the 18 most important things to pray. They’re simply what one guy thought of while sitting in his office chair.
The point is for all of us to start praying more intentionally for our churches, and to encourage others to do the same.