5 Things to Pray for Your Congregation As You Prepare to Lead Worship

Church Night Star Trails

By Kristen Gilles   

Part of prayerfully preparing to lead music at your church gatherings each week includes praying for everyone who will gather.  This will help and encourage you and others in your congregation to keep your focus on Jesus, the Savior King who alone has the power to save, heal and deliver all who call upon His name.

Here are five prayer points to help you pray for your congregation as you prepare to lead worship each week. These are not exhaustive, nor do they need to be prayed verbatim. Think of these simply as starters to help you and your worship team pray:

Pray that Christ would be magnified in the eyes, ears and hearts of everyone in attendance at your gathering, including you.  Ask God to illuminate and awaken the spirit of every person in attendance, including you.  Petition our Father to help you and the others who are serving to make much of Christ, pointing those in attendance to Him. 

  • Scripture: Revelation 1:5-6
  • Song: Revelation Song, by Jennie Lee Riddle

Pray that everyone, including you, would more fully understand and prize God, our Savior, and His living Word as we sing, pray and listen in our gatherings.

  • Scripture: Psalm 25:4-5
  • Song: Our God, by Chris Tomlin

Pray that all in attendance, including you, would be convicted of sin, that the idols in our hearts would be revealed, and that we’d all be captivated and encouraged by the boundless love and kindness of our Savior which leads to repentance.  Pray that we would be filled with Godly sorrow, would repent and fall on the grace of Christ, and then rejoice in His forgiveness and love.

  • Scripture: 1 John 1:8-9
  • Song: Lead Us Back, by Sojourn Music

Pray that the gospel would go forth in power as it is declared through songs, prayers, the sermon, Scripture readings and in our conversations.  Pray that unbelievers would be saved and that believers would have their affections stirred for Christ.

  • Scripture: Romans 1:16
  • Song: In Christ Alone, by Keith and Kristyn Getty

Pray for God to silence the mouths of His enemies and bind them from doing any work in the gathering.  Ask God to show the wonder of His love to all in attendance through healing the sick among you, delivering those oppressed by the enemy, freeing those enslaved to sinful habits and addictions, giving faith to those struggling to believe His Word, strengthening and encouraging the weary and downcast, and helping all of Christ’s people to walk worthy of his gospel calling. 

  • Scripture: James 5:14-16
  • Song: You Never Let Go, by Matt Redman

Kristen Gilles is a deacon in the worship ministry of Louisville’s Sojourn Community Church, and is featured in Sojourn Music’s The Water And The Blood: The Hymns Of Isaac Watts, Volume 2. Kristen blogs about worship with her husband, Sojourn’s Bobby Gilles, at mysonginthenight.com.

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    12 comments on “5 Things to Pray for Your Congregation As You Prepare to Lead Worship

    1. Sadly, you do not have ONE hymn in here. In Christ Alone is about as close as you get and I think this is a great disservice to the worship music God has inspired.

      • I don’t think this was supposed to be a term paper demonstrating that only modern worship songs are useful for praying for our congregation. My guess is that these are just suggestions to help focus on the particular prayer point she was suggesting, and these songs are ones that she has found to be helpful in her prayer life. If it makes you feel better, though, here are some suggestions:
        1. Breathe On Me by B. B. McKinney & Edwin Hatch 2. O God Our Help in Ages Past by Isaac Watts & William Croft 3. Pass Me Not O Gentle Savior by Fanny Crosby & William Doane 4. There is Power in the Blood by Lewis Jones 5. What a Friend We Have in Jesus by Joseph Scriven & Charles Converse

      • Usually I don’t comment on people’s comments, but I am this time. I don’t say this with bitterness, but out of concern. To say that God inspired hymns (most of which are rich in theology and very beautiful) and not modern hymns/worship music is to say that God is no longer at work in our culture. To call these modern songs a “disservice to the worship music God has inspired” is saying that none of these modern worship leaders/Christian musicians are experiencing God and being inspired by Him through Scripture. Isn’t this limiting God a great deal? And we should remember that “hymns” were once new and modern as well. Quite a few of them were coupled to bar music. I’m sure there were people who said the same thing that you said about the hymns that we cherish today – that they weren’t the ones inspired by God.

        I am deeply saddened by the whole “worship wars” issue. It’s not an issue of music or lyrics or preference – it’s an issue of the heart. If our heart can’t be lifted up to worship God through either older hymns or newer hymns/worship music, then we need to repent and focus on Christ being magnified and prizing Him in all things.

    2. Hi Cyndy,

      “In Christ Alone” and “Lead Us Back” are both hymns — they’re Verse-Verse-Verse format songs written in standard hymn meters (each line of “In Christ Alone” is eight syllables per line. Each line of “Lead Us Back” is seven syllables per line).

      It is true that there aren’t any old or “classic” hymns on this list. But as Kevin said, this isn’t a commentary on the relative usefulness of hymns versus praise songs. We love many great hymns of the faith by Watts, Cowper, Wesley, Newton, etc.!

    3. Thankful for these things! I’m not leading our congregation in worship, but will be praying them for my husband and I, as well as our body, with you! Thank you so much for the songs. It is helpful to have multiple avenues of expression of these prayers and a deeper perspective (for me) on each of them.

    4. First thanks for this article. I always remind our team to pray for services ahead of meeting but I like the specific items you listed. Now as for the comment about not citing hymns, I am afraid you are focusing on one leaf among the trees in the forest. The point is we should be praying for our congregations and our teams ahead of every service. How you get there is for God to lead you. This comment reminded me of a well know story about DL Moody after a sermon he brought on evangelism. A person approached him after service and said we don’t like the way you evangelize. To that, he said well how do you evangelize? They said, Me? I don’t evangelize. DL responded, I like my way better. Prayer IS the point!

    5. I skimmed this article and wholly agree with these prayer points. I found them very helpful for preparing to lead our people in worship. Frankly I didn’t pay any attention as to what genre of praise song is being employed as examples. So tired of hearing about preference and styles. I’ve been at this for nearly 20 yrs now and can say worship at it’s very core begins with ones heart. I love any song born of His Spirit !!!

    6. Thanks for the great thoughts about what to pray for before leading worship. I am new to actually leading worship and these insights are deeply appreciated. In Christ’s service, Dave

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