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Divvying Prayer

Every Sunday, Senior Colleague and I divvy things up for worship. We sort of have a formula, but we vary it depending on the elements of the day. But one thing that's always true when both of us are in worship is that the non-preacher gives the morning prayer. The focus is usually thematic, which can be tricky since we're praying before the other preaches. Sometimes we mention the wider world, sometimes not. Really, there is complete freedom to pray whatever comes up. I don't usually write a prayer ahead of time, unless I'm having a busy day and want the prompt.

I'll be praying today, and in my mind there swirls a confusion of health care reform and the way the Stupak amendment limits women's right to choose and Veteran's Day and the shooting at Fort Hood and our scheduled adult ed class on Islam today and the need some will no doubt feel to talk about the religious implications of the shooter's identity and the defeat of No on 1 earlier in the week and the conversations held at our two sessions of Bible Study the next day on the few verses constantly quoted by the opposition, part of our Open and Affirming process.

There's a lot going on in our world, and my list does not include the  known family and medical issues in our congregation, the hearts that grieve and the minds that wonder why and the lives changed in ways I do not even know, all this week.

We divvy up our concerns and try to pray for the "right" ones.

God, I believe, that Great Force Beyond Our Knowing, doesn't need a memo. But in the life of our community, I wonder who needs to hear a concern spoken aloud in order to feel comforted or heard, in order to feel like one of us?

6 thoughts on “Divvying Prayer”

  1. That’s a really good point that you make. Sometimes I think those group prayers have more to do with affirming someone’s concerns and telling them we care, than telling them to God. Which I am totally okay with and I bet God understands and would encourage it.
    Good luck with finding a balance.

  2. One of my favorite parts of our liturgy is the ‘prayers of the people’. During the time after the sermon, which we call ‘open space’, one of the interactive stations that we always have is a prayer station where folks can pray, light and candle, and write down a prayer if they wish, which will be read aloud later in the service. Some really amazing and broken and beautiful words come out of that.

  3. Yes, Amy, it does.
    We do prayers of the people–so after the sermon, we sing a chant, and then have silent prayer….and then ask for people’s requests, after which we say, “Gracious God, Receive our Prayers” and then after all of that, we have a pastoral prayer.
    love to you, dear!

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