Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Gospel-Shaped Prayers

Every Sunday our congregation recites a corporate prayer adapted from a passage of Scripture. We call this portion of our service "Praying the Scriptures Together," and I write a new one for us each month. Here is an example, our prayer from January:

"Who is like you, O LORD, among the gods?
Who is like you, majestic in holiness,
awesome in glorious deeds, doing wonders?

"You have redeemed us in your steadfast love
You have guided us by your strength to your holy abode.
You have conquered the enemy
And purchased us from the dead.
You will plant us on your own mountain,
the place, O LORD, which you have made for your abode,
the sanctuary, O Lord, which your hands have established.
You, O LORD will reign forever and ever."

We pray these things in Your Son, by Your Spirit, and for Your glory,


(from Exodus 15:11-18)
You get the idea. (This month's prayer is adapted from Daniel 9.)

Every one of these prayers ends the same way:
We pray these things in Your Son, by Your Spirit, and for Your glory: Amen."
Why do we do this? Because it helps us to, in the words of Fred Sanders, "pray with the grain." Here's what Graham Cole says:
"To pray to the Father in the name of the Son in reliance upon the Spirit is to rehearse the very structure of the gospel."
Adapting our prayers from Scripture and ending our prayers with this Trinitarian address is our way of praying gospel-shaped prayers, of praying with the grain.


Steve McCoy said...

Love this, Jared. So do you pray the same prayer each week for that month, or do you add a new one per month to the mix? Do you have a typical place in the service for it?

Jared said...

Steve, yep, we pray the same prayer each Sunday for a month -- sometimes going over if I haven't had time to write a new one for the new month :-) -- and then recite a new one the next month, and so on.

It is always in the same place in our worship order, which looks like this:

Call to Worship
Worship in Song
Apostles Creed*
Praying the Scriptures Together
Prayer Request & Testimony Time

*We have been reciting the apostles' creed for the last year or so. Prior to that it was the Lord's Prayer in that spot. I will change that out to another creed or back to the Lord's Prayer at some point, but I like the duration of 6 months to a year on that.

Brian Vawter said...

This is a wonderful prayer, Jared! Your services sound wonderful.

Steve McCoy said...

Very helpful, Jared. Thx. But I am upset because I linked to this post on my blog and then you put up a great prayer from Spurgeon and I don't want to look like a fan-boy for linking to that as well. :) Good stuff man.

Jen said...

Love this. I'm stealing it, if you don't mind.