Praying in Public 1

6 comments Written on January 6th, 2009     
Filed under: Leadership, Liturgy, Prayer


I would like a shot at writing the invocation for Barack Obama’s inauguration. Alas. I was not asked. So I’ve been thinking about it. What would I write and say, if this were my task? 

Question for you. As worship leaders, liturgists and preachers… how do you pray in public? Do you write out the prayer and stick to the script, or do you wing it? Do you write it out, then wing it? Do you use prayers others have written? And who’s allowed to pray aloud in your church: worship leader, pastor, musicians? 

How do you pray in public?

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Report This Post

6 comments “Praying in Public 1”

i suppose i wing it, then drive away thinking, “i should have written something out.”

Report This Comment

I usually prefer to wing it, because the times I’ve written stuff out always end up (to me, anyhow) sounding scripted. Then there are the times, like David mentioned, when I wish I had written something out and pray that God intervened and tuned the ears of the congregation to only His voice – tuning out whatever I might have been babbling on about…

Report This Comment

I tend to “wing it,” but it’s not really like that. My public praying flows out of my study, my reading, my alone times with God, the things I’ve been trying to communicate with others… I DO find myself going back to certain phrases… as if I’d written them out in advance.

Report This Comment

I write them out, and try to learn it well enough that I can vamp a bit, but not wander. Like Matt, there is usually some language that I lock in on. I like to save them for the future, but I never seem to use them again. Sometimes I like to almost read it– depending on where it is in the service, and if the moment/placement calls for something more personal or more formal and declarative. I surprise myself, these days– how much I like scripted worship moments, given my formation in a quite charismatic and unscripted setting.

Report This Comment

Katie – I rather like that term, scripted worship moments. I tend to feel a bit uncomfortable with too much scriptedness, having been locked into it for so many years…however, it seems to me that God is a God of order, and sometimes scriptedness is not a bad thing, nor is it anything that would hinder the Holy Spirit – as if the Holy Spirit could be hindered by anything we say or do anyhow. Hmmm…just thinking out loud.

I’m gravitating to this topic for some reason. Got some growing to do I think.

Report This Comment

When I pray “in public,” it depends on the occasion whether I use a scripted prayer or not. We use the Covenant Book of Worship here in Hilmar for things like communion, baptisms, weddings and funerals, etc. and when I am part of these worship moments, I follow the script. However, when I am leading our “morning prayer” time, on behalf of the congregation, I write down the specific events, people, issues, etc. that I want to cover in the prayer, and then I pray from my heart about them, usually moving from local to world to “supernatural” topics.

Report This Comment

Leave a Reply

Report This Blog