Monday, June 29, 2015

Praying church

At home group the other day one of our members talked about her ambition that our church become more prayerful.

Now, that's a Good Thing to pray for!

We talked about what it means. I had a vision (not a serious spiritual vision, just an ordinary old thought) of more prayer through the service, of more prayerful consideration prior to planning, more prayful thought about action and relationships.

At the moment we only pray together at one time in the service that I go to. It would be good to do more: an opening pray, a formal pray before or after the Bible reading (we only have one, a couple and a psalm might be good...but that could be just hankering after my Anglican roots), prayer prior to the sermon (like here) and a benediction prayer.

We do have private prayer after the service, and I think that's a wonderful idea. It tends to be seen as a 'crisis' prayer, but we should widen it, I think. We also have a small prayer meeting before church, which is good, I would aspire to attend, but cannot.

The person talked about small group prayer during the services. I added that I don't like that and a few others agreed; visitors certainly would feel alienated by it, so great care is needed if it is done. I still wouldn't support the idea because the context is wrong and it would be dissonant with the tenor of a 'look to front' service.

We have special prayer for our overseas mission partners once a month, but maybe we could also pray as a church in prayer meetings. One member said he couldn't see how you could just pray for an hour, so I explained that it's a little more than that and can include devotional reading of the Bible, even a psalm or two, then a couple of times of small group or plenary prayer.

If I was Anglican, I'd point to the form for morning or evening prayer, which I've always found beneficial...can't do that in a Baptist church.

A work in progress.

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