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Pastoral Prayers

What is a "Pastoral Prayer"?

A pastoral prayer is usually prayed by the minister or leader of the church during the course of a church service. It is prayed both for and on behalf of the congregation, and it's primary purpose is to lead people into an awareness of the immediate presence of God.

How do you write a pastoral prayer?

This type of prayer will usually encompass the different elements we associate with praying - a simple way of remembering this is by the acronym "A.C.T.S.", which stands for Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving and Supplication.

adoration - this is an important place to begin. When we worship God we remind ourselves of who he is - his holiness and beauty, his great creativity and saving grace.

confession - as we become aware of the greatness of God, we can not help but realise our own failings, sins and inadequacies. A good pastoral prayer will give space for reflection and for asking God's forgiveness.

thanksgiving - there are many things that you can include in your prayer here - such as celebrating God's forgiveness, gratitude for his daily care, provision and protection, and answered prayers experienced by members of your congregation.

supplication - supplication is about asking God for something - either for yourself or for others in intercession. There may be some specific situation that you want to include in your prayer here.

Finally, consider closing the prayer by dedicating the meeting and the congregation into God's hands for his leading and guidance.

Remember that you can mix the order of these A.C.T.S. elements up as God leads you by His Spirit!

follow this link for inspiring readings and prayers for leading a congregation in worship.

Sample Pastoral Prayer

Almighty God, you are a gracious father, clothed in majesty, you are mighty yet you save us with mercy.
Almighty God, you are an exquisite creator, with hands that carve out beauty, you are author of life yet you give us such freedom.
Almighty God, you know each of us intimately, your heart is full of love, yet you watch over us in our weaknesses and guide us daily.

Prince of Peace, we draw near to you and drink in the promise of eternity.
Lord of Peace, we walk with you and seek your guidance as we learn to be more loving.
Lord of Peace, in your sanctuary we are safe, safe to let down our guard and dwell in your truth.

Risen Lord, you came for the needy, the poor, the oppressed, the forsaken and those that society has forgotten.
Risen Lord, your life renews our hearts from within, thank you that we carry your promise of forgiveness.
Risen Lord, we ask for your spirit to work through us as we minister to the world and share your love with all.
Almighty God, Prince of Peace, Risen Lord, we dedicate our lives to you.


(an example of a pastoral prayer from www.lords-prayer-words.com)

An Opening Prayer

A short inspiring prayer suitable for opening a church service or meeting with:-

God does nothing except in response to believing prayer.

John Wesley

The Lord's Prayer

a printable image suitable for use with a congregation:-
The Lord's Prayer Printable Poster

click here for a short guide to writing prayers for the faithful, with an example of a contemporary bidding prayer.