Praying for Worship
As a worship leader one of the most overlooked aspects of leadership is prayer. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 encourages us to live a lifestyle of prayer. Some translations say that we should “pray at all times.” With that in mind, it’s easy for me to at times be lacking in a consistent and effective prayer “lifestyle” and find that having a list like this helps me stay focused.
Proverbs 29:18 says that where there is no vision people perish (or scatter). I find the same thing true with my focus. Having an outline for prayer helps me focus. That doesn’t mean that it’s mandatory or that it works for everyone, but it doesn’t hurt to have guidelines.
In Habakkuk 2, the concept of writing down vision so it becomes a touchstone, a graspable impact in people’s life furthers this point. A visible vision is an effective vision, because I can see it and run with it.
So, how often do you pray for “worship?” Do you have specifics that you pray for leading up to rehearsals and worship gatherings? Do you pray for the members of your team, your pastor, and your church family?
Here is a list of things (feel free to add your own) that I like to pray for in preparing for leading worship:
- Personal prayer: I like to stay connected to the “vine” so to speak. I think it’s important to come to God daily with our weaknesses and to thank Him for our blessings.
- Prayer for team members: I like to pray for members of the whole worship leading team. This includes musicians, singers, techs, and anybody who serves to make the worship gatherings happen each week. Usually, I pray once a week specifically for everyone on the team. But I try to keep my ears open for needs that I can pray for each day.
- Prayer for the leadership. Pastors, worship leaders, Sunday School teachers, small group leaders, etc. It’s a beautiful thing when we cover each other with prayer.
- Prayer for songs: I like to ask God to lead and direct me in selecting songs for the week. I’m a firm believer that God has given us brains and skills to hone that give us the ability to craft song sets each week. But I also believe that it is a good steward of those skills to always be seeking HIS guidance in that process.
- Prayer for creativity: Asking God to shine through us in a creative way is something I pray regularly. Like I mentioned above, I believe that God has blessed us with brains and creativity in a measure that reflects His glory. How much more wonderful it is when we connect that to HIS specific guidance week in and week out.
- Prayer for the rehearsal: Rehearsals can become so routine and mind numbing that we miss out on the bigger picture. Every time we come together (even rehearsals) there is a great opportunity for us to learn and grow in fellowship with our brothers and sisters in the faith. We can pray that our rehearsals are fruitful. My prayer is that we flow together, work hard, and get things ironed out so that our gatherings are distraction free.
- Prayer for the gathering: Be it a Sunday worship gathering or a small group in the middle of the week, each meeting is an opportunity for people to be impacted by the love and grace of our Lord and an opportunity for people to come together to express their worship collectively. In the same way we shouldn’t let our big picture focus slip with rehearsals, we should always strive to press forward every time we gather. I like to pray that the gatherings will be distraction free and that God would use our preparations and our willingness to follow Him to impact people’s lives for the Kingdom. My prayer is that we will sincerely create an environment of worship from start to finish.
- Prayer before the gathering: This is also an opportunity for the team to connect and to plug-in (so to speak) to the “flow.” Often times we rush through this vital part of calming our souls and acknowledging God’s presence before we do our thing on Sunday mornings. Even if it’s for a few seconds I like to ask God to empty me out. Less of me, more of Him.
Prayer is a critical element of unity. The more we pray together the closer we become. Prayer is also a believer’s personal connection to intimacy with God. Let’s not neglect this wonderful gift that God has given us.