Blake started out scribbling in cards over 30 years ago. Though his handwriting is mostly unchanged, the content has improved.
Public Prayer Can Be Challenging
Whether you've prayed once or a hundred times, public prayer can be a little nerve-wracking. It's similar to giving a speech in that everyone but you is usually totally quiet—except for the occasional crying baby. Public speaking is not as difficult if you come prepared with a little bit of a plan. This article will outline some instructions for praying publicly and possibly give you a new perspective about praying in public.
In addition to tips for praying out loud in front of people, you'll find real examples of prayers you can use in a variety of situation. Feel free to steal these examples and edit them to use a prayer you are preparing to deliver. I hope these prayer examples help you feel more comfortable having a public conversation with God.
Meal Blessing Prayer Example
Giving thanks before a meal is common, and although meals are usually only semi-public venues, speaking at one can still be difficult. Whether you're the last on at the table, the oldest person in attendance, or the "religious" person, you can use this short and sweet prayer as an example of what to say:
Lord, thank you for this opportunity to get together with people who are special in our lives. You have blessed us tremendously. Thank you for the food that has been prepared today. Bless those who prepared it for us. May it nourish our bodies and sould. In Jesus' name, Amen.
Church Service Prayer Example
Here's an example of what to say in a prayer at the beginning or end of a worship or church service:
Lord, it's amazing how much you love us. Thank you for bringing this group of people together. We are gathered here to seek guidance from you and learn what you'd have us learn to be able to better carry out your will and minister to each other. Please bless this time we have together and help us leave today refreshed and renewed in the confidence we have in your power and grace. In Jesus' name we pray for these things, Amen.
Wedding Prayer Example
Weddings are often religious events, so it's likely someone will be praying during the ceremony. If you've been asked to do the honors, here's an example of what to say:
Father, we thank you for bringing two amazing people like ____ and ____ together in a commitment of love that has been modeled after the love that Christ has for the church. We pray that you bless this marriage and that you provide these two with the patience, support, and wisdom to carry out the vows they are publicly stating today. Help these two become an even stronger cord of three strands woven together with you. Help them draw close to you, so that they always remain close to each other in your plans for them. Amen.
Graduation Commencement Prayer Example
Commencement prayers are usually issued in front of many people from a variety of faiths. Here's an example of a commencement prayer:
Most high teacher, we come before you today celebrating the educational accomplishments of these who have invested time, hard work, and diligence to improve themselves. We ask that you continue to be a teacher for the hearts of this class as it graduates and these people use their acquired knowledge and skills in this world that needs your love. Bless this class of graduates as you bless the many places and people this class will encounter, and remind them that the pursuit of a higher calling is much more fulfilling than money or social status.
Funeral Service Prayer
It may be appropriate to use some scripture in a funeral speech or prayer including Numbers 6:24-26. Here's another Concise example of a public funeral prayer:
Lord, it's times like this we are especially thankful for the hope you provide us through the power of salvation. As we grieve our loss, we ask that you comfort us in the assurance that life doesn't end here but continues in eternity with you. Give us the strength to continue your work here on earth without your servant who was called home. We thank you for taking care of the one we love and will miss until we too are called to your heavenly home.
ExamplePrayer for Healing
Whether you are visiting a friend in the hospital or praying for someone at church, healing prayers can feel difficult to word. Use this example to help you figure out what to say in your prayer:
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Father, we don't always get to know what your will is for our lives, but we trust that you have a plan that is bigger than us. We also know that you can work any situation for your glory and any trial can become a blessing. God, you have the power to heal, and we are asking you today that if it be your will, you would heal our friend. We ask this in Jesus' name. Amen.
The Purpose of Prayer
Prayer has many possible purposes, and the event you are attending will determine what the focus of your prayer will be. Here are some situations where prayers are appropriate:
- Church Services
- Holiday Dinners
- Visiting Someone in the Hospital
- Giving Thanks for Food
The basic parts and purposes of prayer usually involve one or more of the following:
- Praising God
- Making a Request (Intersession)
- Giving Thanks
- Confessing Sin
Follow Jesus' Example
Using Scripture as a Guide
The Lord's Prayer is probably the most famous prayer, and rightfully so. It contains a direct example of what to do when you pray, coming from someone who has a great relationship with God. Just before his example is given, Jesus teaches "do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words." So one clue about how to pray is to be concise because God already knows what you need.
He also warns about praying in public and advises against it. So you could make an argument that praying in public is not the ideal. Prayer is meant to be a personal conversation with God, but it makes sense to pray together in certain venues, just be careful about your intentions. We've all been around the people who ramble on and on while the food gets cold. That's no good. You'll find the Lord's Prayer in Matthew 6:9-13:
9 “This, then, is how you should pray:
“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
10 your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.
How Long Should a Prayer Be?
According to Jesus, there's no minimum length to a prayer, but there seems to be a maximum. There are examples in the bible of lengthy prayers, but prayer can be a continual activity that involves a close relationship with God. Personal private prayers could be more like staying on the line with God with a Bluetooth piece in your ear at all times.
When it comes to public prayer, don't use the prayer as an opportunity to rant or ramble about something or try to impress others. Speak humbly, directly, sincerely, and concisely.
How to Start and End a Public Prayer
Christians believe Jesus serves as a bridge between God's perfect nature and man's imperfection. Jesus' resurrection after being crucified demonstrates his power to overcome sin and death, and it is through this gift that Christians are able to speak directly to God. It's not so much that God can't hear your physical utterance of words. Jesus provides the means to have a personal relationship with God the Father by making us perfect with His graceful forgiveness.
For this reason, many people mention Jesus and Father God in their prayers. You may hear "in Jesus' name" or "Father." "Amen" is a common closing word, signaling the end of the prayer and affirming the content of the prayer.
It's ok to start a prayer with any of the following, just as you'd talk to someone you know either by name or description:
- Omnipotent King, etc.
To end a prayer, you can acknowledge and affirm your prayer with a simple "amen" or use something like one of these:
- We ask these things in the name of Jesus
- We thank you for your power to fulfill our every need
- Help us patiently await your will to be done
- In Jesus' name, Amen
Dave Mathews from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA on June 21, 2012:
Blake: Prayer, all prayer is and should be an intricate part of a Christian's life.
Prayer is our communication between ourselves personally or ourselves in a group.
Before we even start to pray, God being God, already knows what's on our minds and in our hearts, but still he enjoys us conveying things to Him in prayer, as it displays our reverence toward the fact that He is God, that He is our creator.
Unless I am simply having a loving conversation with My Father God, which I often do, I try to be on point with what it is I am praying about, be it personal or in group.