Thursday, 14 December 2017

Worship Resources

Prayers for Others

(other sources are Words for Worship and Seasons of the Spirit in folders in the church library)

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Month A (January, March, May, July, September, November)

Week 1
Spoken prayer with a people's response (printed in order of service) eg
    God of compassion, hear our prayer
    God in your mercy, hear our prayer
Week 2
People come to the front and gather in a large circle - people pray in small groups
Week 3
Integrated into communion liturgy, led by Minister or one of the planning team.
Week 4
People come to the front - lit tealight candles are on side tables in east and west chapel. People are invited to take a tealight candle and plaee it on the centre table and offer a short prayer
Week 5
Introduction (leader) -
'Sometimes our prayers are general as we pray for others. This morning you are invited to bring to mind particular people and situations of concern to you'. A moment of silence is kept.
'Bring to mind the face of one of these people, or a group of these people. Imagine them now sitting next to you now. How might you now pray for that person or these people?'
'Spend some time in quiet conversation or contemplation and offer your own prayers. Quiet music will play as you offer your prayers'. Leader concludes with a gathering prayer to conclude the time of prayer eg 'Companion God, we offer these prayers, and the service of our lives. Amen.'

Month B (February, April, June, August, October, December)

Week 1
Spoken prayer with a sung response (printed in order of service) eg
    O Lord hear my prayer, O Lord hear my prayer, When I call, answer me
    O Lord hear my prayer, O Lord hear my prayer, Come and listen to me
    .

    (SFPG 64)

Week 2
People come to the front and gather in a large circle - the leader invites people to bring to mind people, places and situations of concern around the world for which they wish to offer prayer. Invite people to share a word, a phrase, a brief prayer, finishing with 'this is my prayer' and the people respond, 'this is our prayer'.
Week 3
Integrated into communion liturgy, led by the Minister or one of the planning team.
Week 4
Several 'stations' are set up (eg east chapel, west chapel, St Francis corner, front table) with a focus for prayers in each place. This could be particular situations in the news (could simply use newspaper clippings) or could be more general (we pray for people enduring civil war and unrest.. we pray for people struggling with unexpected changes in their lives.. etc) People move around stations, taking with them a lit tealight candle, a symbol of bringing light into dark places and situations. Quiet music could play, and then draw people back together with a song.
Week 5
A Powerpoint prepared with images taken from the internet that represent people, places and situations of concern - local and global. The musicians may play gently (or use a CD) as the images slowly scroll through, and people offer their own silent prayers for others.

Other ideas
A sticky note is attached to the printed order of service. People are invited to write a particular prayer, or a word or phrase about something for which they wish to offer prayer. At an appropriate point, people have an opportunity to attach their sticky note to a board (which might be covered with newspaper clippings)

A long black cloth is set up over a table or draped from the pulpit. People have a 'teardrop' shape cut out of black card onto which they write with pencil prayers for others. (Teardrop with safety pin and pencil to be given out at the door as people come in). People come forward and attach their 'tears' to the cloth. Perhaps a sung response,
O Lord hear my prayer.

Examples of spoken prayers for others - link coming