(Pastoral prayers are sometimes used in corporate worship. They can be led by either the clergy or laypersons. It is also very helpful to have some of these prayed aloud by the entire congregation. The goal in writing these prayers was to make them thematic as well as lead the worshipers in their participation in silent prayer. The topical illusions in the prayers might be taken from those found in the scriptures read for the day or the central theme of the sermon. Others intentionally declare the mighty deeds of God to all present. The role of the one leading in a pastoral prayer is not just intercessory but also to prompt the worshiper to personally engage in their private prayers as guided by the worship leader at that point and in some cases lead them aloud in corporate prayer. The following pastoral prayers can be used in your worship to help your congregation pray for their needs as well as those of others. It is hoped that you might find them helpful in planning of your worship services as well as stimulate your thinking as you write your own pastoral prayers, drawing from the needs of your congregation and the spiritual truth that you want emphasized that particular Sunday or the particular season of the Christian year. If you wish to submit one that I might include on this site, please send it to me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Father, thank you for being our Good Shepherd. We thank you for leading us, loving us, even giving up your life so that we might be restored to an intimate everlasting fellowship with you our creator. Because you are our shepherd - our protector, our defender we desire to share some of our needs with you. Listen to each of our hearts as we silently share our most private and personal needs. Share about your work or school (period of silence), friends (silence), family (silence), and our nation (silence).
Help us in the growth process of our spirituality. Increase our own appreciation of who you are, how you love all of humankind, not just us or even those like us. Impress us that like you, we can love those who are very different from ourselves, those whose skin is a different color, those whose culture and even values are different from ours, those whose religious convictions are different from ours, and those whose economic level are far below or far above ours. Because you love all, we ask you to help the oppressed of the earth - the victims of hunger (pause) and racial discrimination (pause) and those whose individual freedoms are prohibited by political forces which initiate great injustice. (pause)
Make us more sensitive to you and to one another - more conscious. Bring us to both humility and boldness. (pause) Shepherd us in our own spiritual pilgrimage. Give us the courage to be merciful, the endurance to be faithful to those in our care, just as you are with each of us. It is in the name of the one true and everlasting God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit that we pray. Amen.
(Very effective if all the congregation participates in these prayers)
Father, we are your people, chosen by you. As we meet together in this place, help us to listen, to understand and to remember. Make us aware that we are meeting not simply with one another, but with you. Let your presence be real to each of us. As we pray, may it be just like speaking with you. As we listen, help us so concentrate, so that we really hear your word, and help us to take in and retain all that we hear here, see and experience this morning. Hear our confessions of those things we have done (A silence is kept.). Hear our confessions of those things which we ought not to have done. (A silence is kept.) Now hear our confessions of what we could or should have done in a different way to better reflect who you are in us. (A silence is kept.) Hear now our praise and thanksgivings for your blessings and unearned grace give to us. (A silence is kept.) It is in the name of Jesus, your beloved son, that we pray. Amen.
Lord today and every day, we worship YOU. We bless you for creating us in Your image. We thank You that after we fell away from You into sin, You did not leave us in our sin, but You came to us in Jesus Christ, who lived, died, and was resurrected for our salvation. We rejoice that you then brought him to sit at your right hand, now with you. We can now enjoy you forever. As we await His coming again, receive this our worship in the strong and holy name of Jesus. Amen!
Let us pray (together aloud)
With joy we praise you, gracious God,
for you created heaven and earth,
made us in your image, and kept covenant with us
even when we fell into sin.
We give you thanks for Jesus Christ, our Lord,
who by his life, death and resurrection
opened to us the way of everlasting life.
Therefore we join our voices with all the saints and angels and the whole creation to proclaim the glory of your name.
Amen! and Amen!
Lord today and every day, we worship YOU. We bless you for you unceasing love for us. We thank You that after we turned our faces from You into sin, You did not abandon us or leave us in our sin. Instead, you came to us in Jesus Christ, who lived, died, and was resurrected for our salvation. We rejoice that you continue your graceful initiative with us with the work of Your Holy Spirit. We invite Him to come into our midst right now and do all that He desires to do. We confess that we bring no righteousness to you except that which we accept as a free gift from you because of the perfect sacrifice of your son. As we await Jesus coming again, receive this our worship in His holy name. Amen!
Let us pray (responsively together aloud) Father, Son and Holy Spirit this morning we are here to celebrate together your mighty deeds with your people. As we remember the faith of Abraham and Sarah, we rejoice in your faithfulness to them. As we look to your humble servants of the ancient church, the martyrs, the bishops throughout the church, we proclaim to all who can hear our voices, Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory, through our Lord Jesus Christ. We celebrate your ongoing victory over our sins known and unknown, our sins of commission as well as our sins in not doing what you have called us to do. With a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving we celebrate together your victory, because of what you have done, not because of anything we can do, are doing or will do to draw ourselves close to you. We thank you that you see our righteousness not because we have done all the right things, rather because you gave your only son, Jesus Christ, to pay the ultimate personal price for our redemption. Alleluia and amen!
Heavenly Father, we will be listening to your word today. Our hearts will be listening to your Spirit this morning. Those of us who are fathers particularly will be listening. Because we love our sons and daughters, like you our heavenly parent, we want our children to be strong, wise, mature, gentle and loving. Daily bring to our hearts what and how our roles as fathers mean to these children in our lives. For those men among us who are not fathers, give us the vision and the heart to love these children as our very own.
For all of us, children, women and men, accept our thanks for the gift of our very own lives in which each of our own fathers played a part. Some of us can easily thank you for our fathers, remembering many wonderful experiences. Others of us may not be so fortunate. Hear us as we express our thanks to you for giving us those loving fathers and whoever else has loved, initiated with us and encouraged us throughout our lives. (A silence is kept to permit silent prayers of thanks.)
Father, enable us not to exasperate our children yet to discipline wisely. We pray that we will not be too busy to see, play with, talk with and be completely present with our children for however long they are in our care. It always seem much too short. Teach us the joy of learning from our children - for they too are made by you in your image. Help us to learn about faith, trust, innocence, quick forgiveness and love. (A silence is kept.)
It is in the strong name of Jesus our Savior that we pray. Amen.
Father, by the leading of a star you manifested your only Son to the peoples of the earth. Lead us, who know you now by faith, into your presence, where we may see your glory face to face. Today give us a glimpse of how truly wonderful, loving and accepting you are. Help us to enjoy you now, tomorrow and each day. As we remember the wise men seeking out your Son and publicly declaring to the world that He was your son, give us the freedom to do the same. Give us the courage to adequately praise you and declare to those around us that we are yours.
We pray all of these things through the strong name of Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Corporate Prayer to be Forgiving
Let us pray (together aloud) God of all grace, we rejoice that you loved us so much that you gave your Son, to suffer in our place for what we rightly deserve. Today we are anxious to celebrate your mighty deeds that drew us to you and we are thankful for the forgiveness that you have offered to us. Because of your love for us, we, too, are challenged to forgive all those who have hurt us and those whom we love. Give us the courage to have love in our hearts for every one of them. May we offer our forgiveness to them, even as you grant us yours, for the sake of our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen!
Holy one, to you forever, let all thanks be sung! Father, may we be glad when it is said to us, "Let us go into the house of the Lord!" Let it be our delight as well as our responsibility to worship you in the fellowship of your church. Prepare us in mind and spirit for our worship, and tune our hears to sing and speak your praise. May we recieve all that you have to five to us, and offer all that you require from us. May our lives as well as our lips glorify you.
Right now, we come to you in silence, yet shouting for joy. Amidst this silence we are overawed by the thoughts of your love for us; for you love us so much that you gave your only son to suffer and die for us. Yet to think that you love us like that, makes us long to break our silence - to shout for joy and sing your praise.
You have given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. In him we are loved, ransomed, healed, restored and forgiven. This morning give us a hart to praise you our God and father. Accept our worship and praise both silent, spoken and sung to the glory of your holy name. Amen.
Dear Father, we praise you for your good character. We praise you for your faithfulness, when so many of those around us do not seem to be so faithful. Your constant love surrounds us even when we do not clearly sense it. We are confident in your complete provision for our needs, even when it is not yet obvious to us.
Father, we pray for the many hurts that we have - some known only by you. For those in marriage near divorce, for those of us whose loved ones are very sick, for those whose emotions have been deeply wounded by those that we dearly love, for those of us needing money and seeking employment to where we believe you have called us, for those of us who need to express our deep personal emotions - let us be near you now. This morning touch our lives with your strong and powerful hand.
Help us to see ourselves, your provision for us and your everlasting love for us through your caring eyes and sensitive heart. Prepare our minds, wills and emotions as well as our spirits for worship of you this morning. Look clearly into our hearts as we sing and speak praise to you. We pray to recieve all that you have to give us this morning. May our lips and lives glorify you. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.