One of my goals for 2010 is to pray better.
While that sounds like a cliched evangelical goal (just beneath: “I want to read my Bible more.”), it is true. But I want to pray better not just in private, but in public. If we don’t prepare to pray in public, our public prayers will be shallow repetitions of how we hear others pray (which if they are not robust only perpetuates the problem) or hollow ramblings which seek to merely show off our Christianese prowess.
To that end, here are three resources:
- Praying Publicly workshop at WorshipGod 06 by Mark Mullery [mp3; pdf] – Excellent workshop replete with a healthy handout.
- Leading in Prayer: A Workbook for Ministers by Hughes Oliphant Old – I first heard of this book when reading Worship by the Book where it is referenced as a classic. Looks to have some great model prayers.
- Let the Whole Church Say Amen!: A Guide for Those Who Pray in Public by Laurence Hull Stookey – This is a workbook — certainly a great practice for those use to praying extemporaneously! Even if one does not write out prayers used in a service, no doubt the mere practice of having written out some prayers is a boon.
O, that more would take praying publicly seriously! Amen? 🙂
[3/23/2010 update: here is a blog daily full of Scripture-saturated and contemporary prayers.]