During opening prayer, I sometimes hear a long prayer for me, especially for my eyes. Even though I appreciate your love and concern for me, I often get worried about how visitors and non-believers will think of our opening prayers.
I do need your prayers for my eyes, but please pray for me in your personal time of prayer, not during your opening prayer. I feel strongly convicted to write this message and to teach you all how to prepare the opening prayer for Sunday Corporate Worship.
Remember that the purpose of opening prayer is to prepare our hearts to worship God with a genuine heart and to witness to the nonbelievers that we worship with. I encourage you to try including the below five elements in your prayer.
Prior to worship, write out your entire prayer and send it to me at email@example.com by 9 pm Saturday. On Sunday, try to read your prayer with a reverent heart of worship, not controlled by your mood or the spirit of unpreparedness. Only members are allowed to volunteer for opening prayer.
– Purpose is to give glory and praise to God for His grace, love, goodness, patience, righteousness, guidance, and so on.
– Example: Father God, we are here today to worship You. You are the God who created us in Your own likeness. Even though we have all gone astray in our own ways, You have never given up on loving us. Thank you for sending Your only son Jesus to forgive our sins and to show us Your unconditional love.
2. Confession of Sins
– Purpose is (a) to repent for any sins and wrongdoings throughout the week and in life, including any repeated sins and addictions; (b) to seek forgiveness from God and from the people we have wronged; (c) to forgive the people who have wronged us; and (c) to ask God for help in bearing the fruits of repentance.
– Example: Father God, forgive our sins. We have failed You so many times. Instead of choosing Your ways, we chose our own ways. Instead of loving others, we only wanted to be loved. Instead of serving others, we only wanted to be served. We pursed worldly desires instead of You and failed to spend time with You. Please forgive us and change us, Lord.
– Purpose is to give thanks to God for His answers to our prayers and for the specific things that He has blessed us with in our personal life, church life, and house church life.
– Example: Father God, I want to give thanks to You for Your answers to our prayers. We prayed for our missionaries in Egypt because of their difficult housing situation. Thank you for providing them a way to extend their rent and for giving them more time to find another home. Father God, we also give thanks to You for the visitors today. We pray for them to experience a glimpse of Your love and grace through the Sunday message and through our words and actions.
– Purpose is to pray for the church, the pastor(s), the leaders and shepherds, and any important upcoming events, which are shared in the church announcements each week.
– Template: Father God, we want to pray for our church. Thank you for giving us this spiritual community to protect and to guide us in this ungodly world. Help us to fulfill the purpose of our church to reach out VIPs and to grow as disciples of Jesus Christ. Help us to open up our hearts and eyes to see where your heart is and to go and serve there with you, Lord. We also want to pray for our pastor. Give him your wisdom and strength to lead our congregation in the right direction. Take care of his family and his health as he seeks for your Kingdom first. We lift up our leaders and shepherds to you, Lord. Help them to be good examples for people to follow and bless their families. Help them to experience the joy and fruits of serving. Please be with Jonathan, Jiwon, Stephany, and Pastor Daniel, when they go to a short-term mission in Egypt and Turkey. Protect them, guard their spirits, and use them to be a blessing to the people they will meet there. Help them to return with a grown heart for You and for the lost. We also want to pray for our upcoming Dedication Day. Help us to prepare well and have a meaningful time to express thanks to you and to one another. We want to give thanks and glory to You for the blessings and opportunity You have given to us through this church building.
– Purpose is to pray for the world, the poor, the sick, orphans, widows, sojourners, those who are persecuted, the ANF missionary, and your house church missionaries.
– Template: Father God, we want to pray for the people who have lost their homes, families, and jobs because of the war. Father God, remember them and show them Your grace and comfort. If you need us, let us know. We will be Your hands and feet for Your ministry. Father God, there are so many people who are going through a difficult time because of inflation and the current economic situation. Help them to have what they need to live and give them wisdom and strength to get through this time of difficulty well. We also want to pray for our ANF missionaries Kilho Kim and Changmoon Kang. Help them to experience the spirit of revival through their early morning corporate prayer. Help them to implant the spirit of house church in their ministries well. We also want to pray for our Pakistan house church missionaries, Joshua and Ashley Truckey, as well as their two sons. Please open doors for them to build meaningful relationships with the local people and to be able to lead them to Christ.
– Purpose is to seek God’s help to pray without any distractions, to listen actively, and to obey to the message.
– Template: Father God, we want to know You more and get closer to Your love through our Sunday worship. Help us not to be distracted. Help us give You our full attention today and to experience the presence of the Holy Spirit moving in our spirits and hearts. We love you, Lord. Thank you. In the name of Jesus, my Savior, King, and Lord, I pray. Amen.