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Prayers of the People


The ministry of prayer is part of the baptismal calling of every believer. We pray for the world because God so loves it. We pray for the church because it is Christ’s body, living and working in the world. A deacon, elder, or other member of the congregation may lead the prayers from the midst of the people. Time for personal prayer (aloud or in silence) may be included, along with spoken or sung responses.

Lord, in your mercy:
hear our prayer.
Almighty God, in Christ you taught us to pray,
and promised that we would receive all that we ask in his name.

Hear now our prayers:
for the church universal …
for this congregation, its mission and ministry …
for the healing of the earth …
for peace and justice in the world …
for nations and leaders …
for our local community …
for the poor and oppressed …
for the bereaved and lonely …
for all who need healing …

Other special needs may be mentioned here.
Those who have died may be remembered with thanksgiving.

Guide us, O God, by your Holy Spirit,
that all of our prayers and all of our lives
may serve your will and show your love;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer should follow if it is not used elsewhere in the service.

Notes adapted from Supplemental Liturgical Resource 1 (WJKP, 1984).

Excerpt from Worshiping God Together: A Guide for Children and Their Parents:

Jesus prays for us and wants us to pray for others — for the whole church and for the world that God so loves. We pray especially for people who are sick, hungry, lonely, or poor; for the cities and neighborhoods where we live; for people and leaders in other countries; for peace and fairness for all people; for all God’s creatures; for clean air, water, and soil; and for the work of the whole church to show and tell the good news of Jesus.

Directory for Worship

As the people respond to the Word, prayers of intercession are offered for

  1. the Church universal, its ministry and those who minister, that the world might believe;
  2. the world, those in distress or special need, and all in authority, that peace and justice might prevail;
  3. the nation, the state, local communities, and those who govern in them, that they may know and have strength to do what is right.

Prayers of supplication are offered for

  1. the local church, that it have the mind of Christ in facing special issues and needs;
  2. those who struggle with their faith, that they be given assurance;
  3. those in the midst of transitions in life, that they be guided and supported;
  4. those who face critical decisions, that they receive wisdom;
  5. those who are sick, grieving, lonely, and anxious, that they be comforted and healed;
  6. all members, that grace conform them to God’s purpose. (W-2.1000)

Prayers of confession may be included at this time. (W-3.3301)

When the service does not include the Lord’s Supper, prayers of thanksgiving are offered and the prayers are concluded with the Lord’s Prayer. (W-3.3613)

Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Book of Order, W-3.3506

Find Invitations to Prayer from Biblical and Confessional Resources for Worship.

Baptism or Invitation to Discipleship | Offering