Prayers before church meetings

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.

Whether you are concluding a church service or group meeting, having a closing prayer is a great way to call on God to inspire and protect you as you leave. Here is a look at some great closing prayers for church meetings that can be easily adapted for a variety of situations.

Prayer #1

We thank you
for the opportunity to gather today.
May everything we do
begin with your inspiration
and continue with your help.
We ask your guidance throughout this meeting,
that all of our thoughts and actions
would relect your holy will,
and that you would grant us the grace
to love you and our neighbors more perfectly.
We pray in Jesus name. Amen.

Prayer #2

We give you thanks
that you have allowed us to work together
and serve you during this meeting.
We ask your blessing upon our endeavors,
and upon all present today.
May your love and grace continue to guide us,
in every thing that we do,
today and in the future.
We pray in Jesus name, Amen.

Prayer #3

Thank you, Lord, for your presence with us this day.

As we depart from this space now, we ask you to bless us throughout the remainder of the day and guide us safely home. Do not let the learning and conversations of this gathering die, but, instead, may they continue to ruminate within us and bear fruit in our ministries throughout the year, until we find ourselves together again.

We ask this in the name of Jesus, and in the power of the Holy Spirit, Amen.

Prayer #4

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. Amen

Prayer #5

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.

Prayer #6

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.

Prayer #7

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.


Prayer #8

We thank you God for…

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 Amen.

Prayer #9

Lord, your word is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path.
Thank you that we can live in Your light and walk in Your truth.
May the things that you have revealed and thoughts that we have shared
dwell in our hearts and stir us to action.

We ask all this in the precious name of Jesus. Amen.

Here is one end of meeting prayer from the Writers in Action. Following their meeting of setting goals and planning for published writers to come speak, they recite this closing prayer with their group.

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Fodder for preparing your heart for worship in prayer.

prayers before church meetings

Going to church is not like a trip to the grocery store, visiting a friend, or just a Christian task to complete. It is a declaration that worshiping the risen Christ is more important to you than sleeping in, eating brunch, playing sports, or working around the house. It is celebrating the uniting of our broken world under the headship of Christ (Ephesians 1:10) and a proclamation to the spiritual realm of God’s manifold wisdom (Ephesians 3:10).

As such, we should not enter church like any other place, but should prepare our hearts in prayer. Let these ten prayers set your mind on God’s purposes for church and prepare your heart to worship the King.

1. Lord, help me worship You with an undistracted heart.

Heavenly Father, this morning—and all of history—is about You. Please help me worship You with an undistracted heart. You know how my mind wanders to my upcoming week, present worries, and thoughts of others and other things. Help me put those thoughts away and focus on You and Your glory. Would your Spirit cause my heart, soul, mind, and strength to exalt Your Holy Name in my singing, listening to Your Word, and interacting with Your people.

2. Lord, reveal to me the wonders of Your Word. (Psalm 119:18)

Father, You spoke the world into existence (Genesis 1). You speak new life into Your children to give us the light of the knowledge of Your glory in Christ (2 Corinthians 4:6). Give us the grace to receive Your Word and rejoice in it. Convict us of our sins and Christ’s sufficiency so that sinners would be converted (John 16:7–11), the weak strengthened, and Christ’s body built up.

3. Lord, deepen my faith and joy in the glories of Your gospel.

Father, You know the multitude of sins I have committed in my life and even this past week. Help me hate my sin more and grow in grace as I contemplate what Christ has done to forgive me and free me from sin’s death grip. Open the eyes of my heart to see the glorious hope we have in Christ, Your love for all of the saints, and Your power at work in us who believe (Ephesians 1:18-21). Cause my heart to burn within me as we celebrate the gospel in song, learn and apply the gospel through the preached Word, and see the gospel in baptism and communion.

4. Lord, cause me to treasure Your bride as You do.

Father, Your Son’s bride often gets a bad rap, and assembling together can seem like a drag. But physical appearances not only betray spiritual reality, they fail to grasp the centrality of the church in Your eternal purposes for this world. From men and women who were Your enemies, You are assembling a community of born-again worshippers from every tribe, and tongue, and nation to proclaim Your matchless wisdom to the world and spiritual realm (Ephesians 3:1–10). All of history will culminate in Your Son’s wedding to His beautiful bride (Revelation 21:1–2). Oh, Lord, help me treasure Your bride as You do and pour myself out to build her up.

5. Lord, lead me in building others up with the gifts and opportunities You have given me.

Father, forgive me for long having a “me first” consumer mentality at church. Help me put others first and seek to use the spiritual gifts You have graciously entrusted to me to build up others (Ephesians 4:16; 1 Corinthians 14:12). Guide me in my interactions so others are blessed and You are glorified. Show me who to talk to, where to sit, and how to encourage others with Scripture. Help me be a channel of encouragement as we see the Day drawing near (Hebrews 10:24–25).

6. Lord, may our love greatly adorn the gospel.

Father, Your Son said that the love we have for our brothers and sisters will proclaim to the world that we are Your disciples (John 13:34–35). Deepen our love for one another and make us eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit (Ephesians 4:1-3). Help us care for all, not showing favoritism. May love compel us to strengthen the weak, bind up the injured, and serve patiently as we remember our service to others is service to You (Matthew 25:31–46). Help us model Your unfathomable love for us in our honoring of one another, and so prove to the watching world Christ has risen and reigns.

7. Lord, protect us from evil men and evil ideas.

Lord, since the beginning, the enemy of our souls seeks to destroy Your glorious purposes for the world and Your people. We pray for Your protection against all powers and principalities seeking to sow division, anger, envy, greed, and lust among Your people. Keep evil men with destructive intent and unsound doctrines far from us. Expose our culture’s ugly lies and the lies we want to believe by setting our hearts on truth that leads to love, a good conscience, and sincere faith (1 Timothy 1:5).

8. Lord, guide our leadership in faithfully shepherding the flock.

Thank You, Lord, for the gift of pastors and leaders. Strengthen our leaders’ faith and joy in the gospel and help them faithfully and unashamedly fulfill their ministry of shepherding the church and equipping the saints for ministry (Ephesians 4:11–13; 1 Peter 5:1–4). Give them great wisdom and direction in every aspect of ministry and may their example show the church and the world who You are (Titus 2:7). Bless the wives and families of leaders with great gospel joy in the ministry. Help us honor them as Your undershepherds who sacrifice much for our sake (Hebrews 13:17).

9. Lord, equip us for our mission on earth.

We are not saved by our good works, but for good works (Ephesians 2:8-10). Focus our hearts on the mission You have for us to share the gospel and make disciples of Christ (Matthew 28:18–20). Remind us how our marriages, family lives, work, and hobbies can be avenues to adorn the gospel through our proclamation and Christ-exalting lifestyles. Use our time as Your gathered body to build us up and send us out for ministering Your gospel in the power of Your Spirit to our broken world.

10. Lord, deepen my longing for Christ’s return.

So often I pursue comfort and earthly joy in this sin-bent world when my heart should long for the return of Christ, our “blessed hope” (Titus 2:13). Help my time among Your people draw me into Your holy presence and show me the glories of a sin- and suffering-free eternity where we will worship You face-to-face (Revelation 21:1–4). Oh, Lord, I long for Your presence and perfect restoration! Come quickly, Lord Jesus!

Related Links:

  • 50+ Things You Miss Out On By Not Attending Church
  • If the Devil had a church…
  • What if My Church Doesn’t Preach the Bible?

When you come together with a group of friends, family or church members and you want to pray, it is helpful to have a purpose for your time of prayer. This purpose can be defined by a particular event, person or activity that you are praying for. When you are gathered around with fellow believers to pray you should also have a plan to go along with your purpose. Here are seven prayer meeting ideas that will help you plan your prayer meetings.

Use a Prayer List

This is a list of names or events that you are praying for. You may be able to assemble part of the list before the prayer time starts. If you already know specific things you will be praying about, have this list pre-populated. You can do that by giving people a prayer request slip at a previous meeting so that you will have time to create the list to give to those in attendance.

Make sure everyone in the group has a prayer list and give them an opportunity to add new requests from the group. One person can write the new requests on a whiteboard or blackboard. Optionally you can distribute pens and pencils with the lists so that people can add the new requests to their own prayer list.

If you are praying for a specific person or event, make sure everyone knows the important information to pray for. Allow the Lord to lead in the prayer time, but try to keep the focus on the main purpose for the prayer meeting.

Pray in Groups

Many churches have a prayer meeting in which one or two people pray aloud. Certainly that is fine, but if you broke up into smaller groups of 2 to 4 people at a time, you could have more people calling out to the Lord in a shorter period of time. I’m pretty confident He can understand 10 (or 10,000) people praying at once.

Distribute Information

Often we are told to pray for the missionaries, but we don’t know what the missionaries need prayer for. If you are praying for a particular missionary or country it would be helpful to include some pertinent facts and prayer points about the country or missionary family.

When praying for a missionary or a group of missionaries, have recent prayer letters available for people to read. Many churches have missionary letters posted around the church. Take time to read the letters and jot down specific prayer requests the missionaries have. This will help you pray more effectively for their needs and requests.

Pray for an Unreached People Group

There are various agencies which have compiled information about unreached people groups around the world. The one I use most of the time for information is the Joshua Project. They have an unreached people group that they emphasize every day. You can visit their website and read about the group of the day or search for information on a people group you are interested in. Also, you can check out the video at the top of this article for more information on the goal of the Joshua Project.

Pray for Leadership

Each time you meet have a plan to pray for someone in leadership. This can be someone in government or a church leader. In one church I attended they had a weekly prayer bulletin in which they highlighted a church staff member, a government official and a government agency to pray for. They would give us the name and position of the person, or in the case of the government agency they would simply give the name. Specifically we were praying for local police, fire and rescue agencies.

Keep a Reminder of Answered Prayers

You can keep a journal for the group of the requests and when the prayers were answered. This can be visually represented in many ways. You can add a pebble to a glass jar each time a prayer is answered. Each request can be written on a separate paper or note card and have them in a file box or stack in a common meeting area. This will allow people to read the request, when you started praying for it and when God answered the prayer.

Assign Prayer Requests

If you are praying through a list of requests you can break the list down into smaller chunks and assign these to different people. This prayer meeting idea will insure that everything on the list gets prayed for during your prayer meeting. You will eliminate the problem of everyone praying for the same three requests and forgetting the other ten. Assigning people to pray also cuts down on the awkward time in many churches where the pastor says “whoever feels led to pray, speak up.” That can create long moments of silence when no one is praying. I know we should all pray during a prayer time, but those moments of silence are awkward and people stop praying silently because they don’t know if it is time to stop, if someone else will start praying, or if they should be the one to start praying aloud.

Your Prayer Meeting Ideas?

There are many different prayer meeting ideas that can be beneficial to the other readers. What are some of the things you do in your church or prayer group that might be helpful to others? We would love for you to share them in the comments.

For Some Prayer Ideas Check These Out:

10 Powerful Prayers For Strength

Resources:  “Joshua Project”

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