In Your Church: Consider all the ways you might engage your church in prayer!
A Simple Prayer Service: The United Methodist Hymnal (p. 876-879) offers orders of morning and evening praise and prayer. Adapt as suits your setting. Provide candles to bit lit as special prayer concerns are lifted up. Play soft music, using a CD if need be, to provide a soothing setting.
Sticky Note Prayers: In our modern world we write what we want to remember on a sticky note. Provide sticky notes so that your people can write down their prayers. Provide a prominent place for them to stick them—maybe at the base of a cross.
Praying on the Lawn: May in Iowa is beautiful. Invite parishioners to bring a lawn chair and simply have a time of prayer on the lawn of the church. Provide prayer books for those who like to read the prayers of others. A list of resources appears below. And pastors, this is a good thing for you to do anytime. Sit outside the church and simply pray for your community.
Prayer Walks: You can walk through the streets of your community in prayer. Thank God for the beauty of your community. Lift up your neighbors in thanksgiving.
Join in the Prayer Vigil: You can sign up as a church to pray as part of the statewide prayer vigil.
Prayer in Action: Prayer is difficult for some people. They may be active folks who like to move. There are ways to put prayer in to action. Perhaps walking your community picking up litter, or cleaning up around the high school football field or anywhere that needs cleaning up, could be a means of prayer.
Lord’s Prayer : This might be a good time to look closely at the Lord’s Prayer. Perhaps that could be the sermon focus on May 21 as the week of prayer begins.
The Prayers of Jesus: How did Jesus pray? This may be an opportunity to create a sermon series on the prayers of Jesus.
Well-Known Prayers: You might have well-known prayers available for your people to study. These could be a sermon series. Our hymnal includes the Serenity Prayer, the Prayer of Saint Francis and A Covenant Prayer in the Wesleyan tradition. (Copies of this prayer in a handy pocket size can be ordered from the Church of the Resurrection.)
Prayer in Action: In Philippians 2 Paul tells us to humble ourselves and look to “the interests of others.” Spend a day intentionally doing this. Leave public restrooms cleaner than you found them. Pick up litter in a public parking lot. Do the humble job that needs done and makes life better for others.