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Question: Joys & Concerns, Pastoral Prayers

Question:

How do you gather joys & concerns in your congregation during worship? When do you share them?

Do you have a pastoral prayer every week? When? How?

Comments

Anonymous said…
Here's how we handle it and it seems to work pretty well. At the end of the announcements we ask for Joys. There are usually a few. We do a pastoral prayer or a prayers of the people every week during which the pastor says something like "...and we offer up our prayers to you both spoken and unspoken..." and then pauses to allow folks to say things out loud. When they're done he/she finishes, sometimes with the Lord's Prayer. The reason we did it this way is that the prayer requests were stretching into 10 and 15 minutes with detailed reports on Aunt Bessie's gall bladder. It's not that we don't care or want to hurry things but some folks went on and on and on!
Hope this is helpful.
Anonymous said…
Our practice is to do the sharing of joys and concerns following the passing of the peace. I try to keep a reign on the sharing, being perfectly willing to shut things down if I feel like it's getting too long. I then lead into the pastoral prayer, ending with a transition to the Lord's Prayer, which we say every week. Folks have been pretty good about keeping prayer requests and the sharing of joys concise.

BTW, I do this from the "floor" of the sanctuary, walking among the people as we share and praying from the floor in front of the altar table. I do this to suggest that I am simply one person in the congregation and that I have no "higher" level or ability in my prayers than anyone sitting in the congregation. My folks seem to appreciate this approach.
Anonymous said…
I don't take joys and concerns every week (although I probably should). But we do at least twice a month. It depends on whether or not we have some other special prayer experience during the service. Normally, a slide comes up that reads "The chime calls us to silence." and a Tibetan Singing Prayer Chime Bowl is struck. I know. Probably pretentious. Then we have silent prayer and then I ask for joys and concerns. I stop and pray a short prayer for each one as it is mentioned and then say "Lord, in your mercy", and the people reply "hear our prayer".
Anonymous said…
Our church is small - 35 or so at worship - so we are fairly informal about many things.

We ask for joys and concerns every week. I do it by asking for people to share them verbally before the prayer. I jot notes. Then is have spots in the prayer that I can offer those particular prayers as I lead it.

In a larger congregation - or in ours some weeks when there are lots and lots of things offered - it could get a bit ponderous.

But it seems to work for our congregation.
DannyG said…
Well, we're at the other end, with 850-1000 per Sunday, spread over 5 services (3 traditional/2 contempoary). Deaths and hospitalizations are mentioned before the passing of the peace. Other Joys and Concerns are the provence of the Sunday School classes.

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