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September: Corporate Prayer

Prayer is central to the Christian life, so it is no surprise that it is also central in a

healthy church. In this lesson, Dr. Dever illustrates the prayer life of a healthy church

while emphasizing the content, context, purpose, and power of prayer.

"What is a Healthy Church" Episode 11 - 'Corporate Prayer'

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Video Outline:

  1. All of our public prayer as a church should be an outgrowth of our private prayer.

    1. The New Testament commands us to pray without ceasing (1 Thess. 5:17).

    2. All basic aspects of prayer should be in our personal prayer time—praise, thanksgiving, confession, intercession, and supplication.

  2. A church’s practice of prayer will vary because there is a natural liberty in prayer.

    1. There is no set time for church prayer meetings; a church may meet on a Sunday or on a Wednesday or have a prayer time for specific demographics.

    2. A church may decide to meet in response to events in the life of the church or in the life of the nation, giving itself to prayer for God’s work around the world.

  3. Specific language is helpful in leading a church in prayer.

    1. The church is one body, so representative prayer uses plural pronouns.

    2. The church is one body, so it identifies and agrees with representative prayer.

    3. The church is one body, so the language used in prayer communicates the unity found among one people coming before God.

  4. Different types of public prayer help a local church.

    1. A church may have a combination of short and long, spontaneous and planned prayers, each serving a particular function within the church.

  5. Prayers on the Lord’s Day should be specifically directed toward praising God.

    1. The Bible gives us examples of prayers of praise.

    2. Prayers of praise will help a church think about God throughout the week as the self-existing, ever-present, Almighty God of goodness, mercy, and love.

    3. Prayers of praise can be supplemented with thanksgiving.

  6. Prayers on the Lord’s Day should be specifically directed toward confession to God.

    1. The Bible gives us examples of prayers of confession.

    2. Confession is the continual practice of acknowledging the truth of God.

  7. Prayers on the Lord’s Day should be dedicated to asking for God’s help.

    1. Jesus taught us to pray, “Your kingdom come” and “Give us this day our daily bread” (Matt. 6:9–13).

    2. Pastoral prayers may vary by context but should contain essential categories.

  8. Prayer should characterize the life of the church, and the entire congregation should meet for prayer.

    1. Prayer should characterize more than just worship by being a regular part of the meetings and daily interactions within a church.

    2. The life of a local church involves prayer, so doing the beneficial spiritual work of prayer should be commonplace for every member within a church.

Discussion Questions

  1. Paul exhorts us to pray without ceasing (1 Thess. 5:17). If we can pray simultaneously to our other daily activities, what value is there in spending long periods of time in congregational prayer during services?

  2. What types of prayers are we sufficiently covering in our worship services, and what types of prayers should we be increasing?

  3. Finish this sentence expressing Corporate Prayer: A thriving church... See how we've completed that sentence for WCRC so far. This document will grow and develop as we work on this throughout the year.



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