Prayers of Supplication

Every Sunday at Redeemer we have a time for a “Prayer of Supplication.” I want to give some explanation of why this is included and provide some pointers as to what we should pray for during this time. This is neither a checklist nor a law. I don’t want anyone to fear that their past prayers were inadequate, and I hope no one will worry that their prayers in the future are being evaluated. We are praying to God, and we are praying as he leads us to pray. This is merely some pastoral direction.

The Prayers in Our Worship Service

We begin our worship service with a prayer we call the “Invocation.” Our intention at this time is to “invoke God’s presence,” we are inviting him, begging him really, to come and make us feel his nearness.

A little later in the service we have a prayer for the “Confession of Sins.” This is a time for us to acknowledge before God that we have done things we knew were wrong, that we have not done the good things we should have done, and that often we don’t even know what righteousness would look like in particular situations.

As the service goes on we have our “Prayer of Supplication,” more on that in a moment, and then before and after the sermon we have “Pastoral Prayers.” In the pastoral prayer whoever is preaching calls on the Lord to do mighty things through the preached Word. We are asking the Lord to minister to his people by his Spirit through the Word.

The Prayer of Supplication

The prayer of supplication is our time to lay our needs before the Lord. We should pray for kings and everyone in authority. We should pray for the spiritual health of the members of our church. We should pray for those who are suffering for the Gospel. We should pray for the missionaries taking the Gospel to the ends of the earth. We should pray for other churches in the area, especially those supporting us financially. We should pray for the salvation of the lost, for the healing of the sick, for the Lord to glorify himself.

This is not an exhaustive list, but it points in the direction we should go. To summarize, we pray these prayers in our worship service:

Invocation: asking the Lord to inhabit our praises.

Confession of Sins: responding to his holiness with honesty about our sin.

Prayer of Supplication: calling on the Lord to meet the needs we have.

Pastoral Prayer: asking the Lord to prosper his word.

May the Lord bless our worship!

6 Comments

Filed under Spiritual Discipline, Worship

6 responses to “Prayers of Supplication

  1. Jim,

    Your readers might appreciate this corporate confession of sin used at the WorshipGod06 conference:

    http://www.worshipmatters.com/bobkauflin/2006/08/monday_devotion.html

    Thanks for sharing these great ideas on corporate worship.

    Eric

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  4. Geary Smith

    What is exactly the difference in a prayer and a supplication?

  5. Geary,

    I would suggest that prayer is an umbrella term that encompasses within itself everything from thanksgivings, to confessions, to imprecations, to praises/blessings, to supplications, which are specific requests for help.

    Blessings!

    JMH

  6. Prayer in the Bible is always simply asking, I know of no exception. “Prayer AND supplicaton”, “prayer WITH thanksgiving” shows clearly that prayer is one thing and thanksgiving is another. Prayer is asking and supplicaton is another thing. Supplication is about attitude. The attitude of humility, of contrition, and of adoration from the one asking (praying) must accompany our requests as well as being thankful.

    Prayer is communication but not just communication. It can be a time of worship, one can be repentent while praying, we may experience wonderful joy as we pray, but make no mistake, prayer is always asking God and nothing more. Telling God how much we love Him is good and should be encouraged but it is not prayer. Thanking God for what He has done for us, or will do for us is commanded but it is not prayer. Even telling God how sorry you are that you have fallen short in some area is useful and necessary but it is not prayer.

    Until you have asked for what you want or need you haven’t prayed. “We have not because we don’t ask.”

    His peace,
    Royce Ogle

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