It’s Monday. Most of us have meetings to go to today or later this week. Here is a prayer before a meeting. It’s published on the St. Louis University Prayerbook, a site where members of the SLU community share prayers.
Heavenly Father, we come to you today asking for your guidance, wisdom, and support as we begin this meeting. Help us to engage in meaningful discussion; allow us to grow closer as a group and nurture the bonds of community. Fill us with your grace, Lord God, as we make decisions that might affect the students, staff, faculty, alumni and friends of Saint Louis University. And continue to remind us that all that we do here today, all that we accomplish, is for the pursuit of truth for the greater glory of You, and for the service of humanity. We ask these things in your name, Amen.
For other prayers on this site, see the Prayers by St. Ignatius and Others.
Here is a collection of Prayers for Meetings of any kind: Business meetings, Sunday school meetings, church or family meetings, and prayer meetings.
Opening Prayer for Meeting
Lord, we are meeting today to conduct matters
of business. Guide our hearts and our minds in the
spirit of fairness, right thought and speech. Impart your
supreme wisdom upon our activities so that our affairs
may reach a successful conclusion. Thank you for being
our source of guidance today. Amen!
Read our full collection of Opening and Closing Prayers
Prayer to Come to an Agreement
Dear God, we seek your help with our affairs today.
Bless this meeting with your divine intelligence, and
help us to make the best use of our own. We are
of diverse opinion here. Yet we wish to mend our
differences and reach agreement satisfactory to all.
Please share a little of your wisdom with us to help
us do right by all concerned. Thank you for your
Heavenly blessing. Amen!
Sunday School Meeting
O God, we thank You for this privilege of meeting
today in Your house. Help us worship You
acceptably. Bless Your word to us all.
Bless our pastor and people, in the name
of Your Son Jesus Christ. Amen.!
School Board Meeting Prayer
Loving and Gracious God, you are indeed the giver of all good gifts
and we thank you today for all your blessings, for the successful outcomes
of our school events and for all our staff members, both the teaching and
We ask that you bless them abundantly and we continue to seek your wisdom,
guidance, courage and strength. Be with us in our deliberations and help us
to be wise in the decisions we make for the good of all those who have placed
their trust and confidence in our leadership.
Give us insight to lead with integrity that our decisions may reflect what is
right and good. Keep us from short-sightedness and pettiness. Help us to make
decisions that are for the good of all and guard us from blind self interest.
Dear Lord, grant us the humility to always seek your will in all that we do and say.
All Glory be to you, loving God, now and always through Christ and the Holy Spirit
forever and ever. Amen.
Hosting a prayer meeting? Check out these great Prayer Meeting Ideas.
Family Meeting Prayer
Our family gathers today in joyous occasion,
thanks to our Lord who looks after us all.
Bless this happy meeting and may we all
be praised in Your gracious name!
Table of contents
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Many of the clubs here in District 55 open their meetings with prayer and the pledge of allegiance. Some seem to feel that this is more than tradition–it’s How Things Should Be Done. On the other hand, there have been complaints about opening division- and district-level events with prayer. Some even say that prayer should never be used in a Toastmasters club.
One DTM has this to say about the order of parts of the invocation: “God before country.” Prayer first, then pledge, then the rest of the meeting.
Let’s see what Toastmasters International has to say:
What is the Invocator Role?
The invocation, usually a prayer or inspirational thought, is an optional part of club meetings. It is usually delivered by a designated club member at the beginning of the meeting, and is sometimes combined with or replaced by the pledge and/or the thought of the day. Delivering the Invocation
The invocation – usually a prayer or inspirational thought – is an optional part of club, area, division and district Toastmasters meetings. The organization neither encourages nor discourages invocations… Some clubs have replaced invocations with a thought for the day or an inspirational message…. It is up to each club to decide whether or not to include an invocation, thought for the day, inspirational message, and/or pledge at each meeting. The decision is made by majority vote at a club’s business meeting when a majority of active members is present. Club leaders are responsible for arranging and abiding by this vote. Policies and Procedures > Invocations and Pledges
There are several points worth noting from this material:
- You can have an invocation, but you don’t have to
- An “invocation” may or may not be a prayer. The invocator each meeting may decide whether they want to pray or give an inspirational thought, perhaps even one in line with the meeting theme.
- The club should consciously determine whether they have an invocation and how it should be performed.
- These rules apply the same to district level events as to club events. A district could vote to start each district meeting with a prayer
Just because other clubs/areas/divisions/district open their meetings a certain way does not mean you have to. Even if other invocators at your club always open with a prayer (or vice versa, an inspirational thought) you could choose to give the invocation differently, as long as it is in line with club policies.
What Prayers are Acceptable in Toastmasters?
Because Toastmasters is a worldwide organization that includes people from many different religious groups, a non-sectarian approach is required, and the speaker should be sensitive to the diversity of cultures and religions in the audience.
Delivering the Invocation
Club leaders should remind members giving an invocation that they need to be sensitive to the diversity of cultures and religions in the audience.Policies and Procedures > Invocations and Pledges
The phrase “non-sectarian” is pretty clear. My interpretation is that invocation prayers should not reference any particular religion, holy writings or religious figure.
What About Free Speech?
One Toastmaster told me that she felt she had the right to open a meeting with any prayer she wanted—that if Toastmasters wouldn’t let her, that was infringing on her free speech and she would quit.
In my opinion, a club should be able to give sectarian prayers–as long as they are willing to give prayers representing any and all sects/religions/philosophies/cults.
Now, I personally don’t have a problem with denominational prayers if that is what the club is about. If a church runs a Toastmasters club, it’s perfectly reasonable for them to open with a prayer they feel is suitable. Other groups may similarly be strongly affiliated with specific religions.
The problem is, giving an invocation is different from giving a speech. When you’re giving a speech, you’re saying, in effect, “this is my opinion—please be the appropriate type of audience for this speech and give me feedback on delivery.” Even if they disagree with your religious, political or other viewpoint, you can still talk about it, just as they are free to deliver speeches with opposing viewpoints.
On the other hand, When you give an invocation, you are in effect saying “this club is under the umbrella of this invocation. I am representing the members of this club and associating the club with this invocation.” This is just my humble opinion, but if you don’t think this is true, try asking a guest who attended a meeting that opened with prayer. Did they associate the religious beliefs with the invocator or with the club?
Some corporate clubs have a corporate culture that is strongly religious, and that’s fine. But are you certain that your company wants to be associated with a particular religion? Are you sure that they don’t consider sponsoring your Toastmasters club to be “associated” with what the club does, including mandatory prayers?
The problem with most community clubs (and corporate clubs as well) is that it’s all too easy for the majority to assume unanimity. In fact, sometimes they aren’t even the majority! Some members may have strong viewpoints, and assume that everyone else in the club shares their viewpoints. However, in any group of more than a few people, odds are good that some identify as atheistic or a minority religion, or may not be comfortable identifying with any religion at all.
Do you have free speech? Of course you do. The problem with free speech is that you have to let other people have it too. If your community club decides they want to open each meeting with a prayer, that’s fine. If you decide you are going to give a strongly, obviously Christian prayer, that’s fine… but are you prepared to let others have the same freedom? Would you allow others the same respect you expect if they wanted to open with prayers representing…
- The Flying Spaghetti Monster?
It’s your choice. Non-sectarian prayers, or allowing the beliefs of all of your members to be represented.
Or you could just do what I recommend, and use an inspirational thought instead. This is closer to an actual speech, allows members to practice inspirational skills, is an opportunity to work with the theme and word of the day, and is likely to bring up discussions of whether it’s time to get Old Testament on people.
When closing a meeting, thanking God for his continued protection and inspiration is just one way to end a bible study or meeting. Here is a look at some great opening and closing prayers for meetings that will help encourage your continued commitment and dedication to the Lord.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Every prayer we have prayed
Every song we have sung
All the things we have learned
All the laughter and fun
Thank you for all the joy you bring
And our wonderful times together
May we walk with you as each new day begins
This day and forever
Father, thank you for all the marvelous things you have done today.
Thank you for your love that you have revealed to us,
And for the love that we share together as your body.
We pray for all the words you have sown into people’s hearts today.
Watch over them, protect them.
May they take root and produce wonderful things,
Things of beauty and great blessings to many.
And as we leave this place now, thank you that you walk with us.
May we be alert to your promptings
And live in your endless love.
For yours is the kingdom, the power and glory
In this age and forevermore.
Bless us as we meet together,
dear Lord we pray.
Bless the singing of your praise,
the reading of your Word,
the sharing of our fellowship,
the prayers that will be heard.
Bless us as we meet together,
dear Lord we pray.
Here is one example of a closing prayer performed by Wesley students at the United Methodist Campus Ministry.