Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Pastoral prayers & prayers for pastors

My two final classes in seminary are “Psalms and Wisdom Literature” (which is reputed to be one of the most devotional classes in the required schedule) and “Theology and Practice of Prayer”, taught by Jerram Barrs (one of this generation's most Godly men). Those of you who are familiar with the difficulties that delayed my graduation will see the providence of God is this gracious and devotional finish.

The semester assignment for the class on prayer is fairly open, but one of the suggested ideas is to write a collection of prayers. I'm not locking in on a topic yet, but I am considering a collection of prayers for pastoral ministry-- specifically, prayers that I expect to find myself offering up in times of need, rejoicing, struggle, fatigue, success. If you will, it will be a book of prayers for those times when I am at a loss for words to pray.

I want to turn to you for input. Whether you have just transitioned into ministry, have been in ministry for years, are not yet in full-time ministry, or intend to remain a lay-servant, I want your thoughts on this question:

As you reflect on the recent months of ministry, transition, or preparing for ministry, what three or four topics have consistently come up? What do you find yourself frequently praying for yourself, for your family, for your ministry, for your congregation?

I hope to use your responses to inform the topics I'll focus on for this project, so please respond if you can. As I write these prayers (if I do indeed choose this topic), I'll post them here. Thanks for participating.


Laura said...

Sounds like an awesome project - I'll link to it from my blog. I have wanted to write a collection of prayers, but for now I mooch off of the Puritans, Calvin, etc....

I'm not quite sure if you're asking for only pastorally-related ideas, but if you clarify I'll link to this on my blog. Here are three things that consistently come up in my prayers:
1) revival/spiritual restoration in my immediate and extended family
2) reformation in the American church and in my local church, namely through theological education
3) the general welfare of my pastors, or any pastors/ministers who have influenced me, and their families.

Russell Smith said...

I have found increasingly that praying scripture has been of help to me: Ephesians 3:14-20 is one that I come to often as I intercede for others and pray for revival in my own congregation. Also Galatians 5:22-23 guide my prayers for myself and others -- longing for the HS to bring sanctification and bear fruit.

As for three main themes for intercessory prayer:
1)after a trauma/crisis. Praying with someone who is asking the questions "Why would God do this" -- and often they have very confused feelings toward God during these times.

2)people who are struggling in relationships (singles trying to determine if they are in a right relationship or wrestling with lonliness -- and also married folk whose relationship is strained)

3) people who are searching for direction in life -- job transitions, dissatisfied in their current employment, etc.

you might also look for the collected book of Spurgeon's prayers -- or Valley of Vision, the Banner of Truth book of Puritan Prayers.

Hope this helps.

Laura said...

Oh yeah, to echo Russell - I use Colossians 1:9-10 and Philippians 1:9-11 (funny how they parallel each other in reference) for intercessory prayer.

Ed said...

Thanks Laura and Russell for your input. The Valley of Vision has been a favorite for a long time.

Those topics sound like a good start. I'll look forward to hearing more input from others. Thanks for getting things started.

Chris said...


What a valuable undertaking.

More than anything, I find myself praying for the filling and control of the Holy Spirit; for my family, for my friends and colleagues, for my students, for my leaders, for myself, and for every situation. He illumines our minds, gives wisdom, gives life to our mortal bodies, produces fruit of character, subdues the flesh, sanctifies and consecrates us for a holy work, preserves unto eternal life, keeps our whole body soul and spirit unto the day of Christ's return, shows us our Lord Jesus and His cross, and conforms us to the image of the Son. There is nothing whatsoever that we can do that has any value for the kingdom of the Lord apart from His working in us.

For the past fifteen years of ministry I have used Valley of Vision, the Book of Common Prayer, The Book of Common Worship, Selections from Luther and Calvin, excerpts from Mercies New Every Morning, Andrew Murray's Helps to Intercession, the Psalms and various prayers recorded throughout Scripture.

R. Thomas Cheely said...

Oh, God who made me and determined to use me as an instrument in Your hand for the work ministry, Guide me to that type of ministry where how you have put me together will be best reflect Your glory.

My Father, as you have determined that I would be a father, may my relationship with the children whom You entrust to me reflect Your relationship with me in every way.

Holy, Majesty, Almighty, Awesome, Perfect, Kind, Loving, Compassionate, Sovereign ONE, reflect Your heart for the people of this world into my heart that my life will demonstrate in its worship and work a love for you that leads me to serve Your people on Your behalf that they might come to love You too.