I asked Chris Canuel, our Family Pastor at Hampstead Baptist to share some thoughts about how we can pray for our Sunday Worship Services. I’m blessed and encouraged with what he has shared. I think you will be too…
Corporate worship is an awesome privilege that God has gifted His people. To gather with fellow saints, to lift up the name of Jesus, to sing songs of praise to our God, to cry out our petitions in prayer to our creator and sustainer – is not a small thing. To fellowship with fellow believers, and to encourage and build them up, and to share the worship experience with our brothers and sisters in Christ – is not something we should take lightly. For this reason, let’s look at some ways we can be praying for our corporate gathering this week and seek the Lord’s blessings on our gathering.
First, let’s pray that God would give each of us a heart ready and prepared to worship. Pray that we would not be hindered in our worship by either our external circumstances, our internal struggles or the difficulties of life, or even things that may take place during the service. Worship is first and foremost about God and giving Him the glory that He deserves, so let us pray that we are able to keep HIM at the forefront of our minds and the center of our hearts.
Secondly, pray for your leaders and staff and everyone that will be taking part in the service. Pray that leaders will have wisdom. Pray they will be prepared. Pray that everyone involved in the service will understand what an awesome task is before them as God’s people are being lead to worship the God of the universe.
Thirdly, pray for your pastor. A pastor has many burdens, and chances are he has had a difficult week. Pray that in the midst of all that he has been dealing with throughout the week that his study time and his preparation has been productive and as unhindered as possible. Pray that the message God has laid on his heart will be internalized and made alive to him before he delivers it to God’s people. Pray that the Gospel may be proclaimed boldly and clearly. The Apostle Paul asked the Ephesian church to pray for him that, “words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly as I ought to speak.” May this be our prayer for our own pastor as he enters the pulpit this week.
Fourth, as the Gospel is boldly being preached, pray that we might receive the message that God gives us this week in worship. Pray that we as believers would have ears to hear. Pray that the Spirit would move in our hearts and change us, and that we would be given a burning desire to live out the truths of God’s Word. 1 Thessalonians 2:13 says, “And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers.” May this be true of each of us.
Fifth, as the Gospel is being preached, pray that hearts would be made alive in Christ and that lost people will be saved. Romans 1:16 tells us that the gospel is the “power of God for salvation to everyone who believes…” thus, let us ask God to use His Word to draw folks to Himself through His Gospel, that they might believe on Jesus and the salvation that He alone can give.
And finally, above all pray that God would be glorified in our services. As Psalm 95 encourages us to come into the presence of the LORD to worship Him, it reminds us of the reason, “For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods.” Our great God is worthy of worship, and glorious above all. Pray that we can ascribe to Him the glory that He so richly deserves as we come together this Sunday.