9 Marks


Which is better in church gatherings: pre-written or spontaneous prayers?

Some people prefer pre-written prayers, because it gives them the opportunity to carefully think through how they want to lead the congregation. Other people worry that pre-written prayers will “quench” whatever the Spirit might do in the moment. Here are several thoughts on the prayers for which you have the opportunity to plan:
  1. The Spirit is utterly capable of working “in the moment” and—believe it or not—through planning!
  2. Praying, like preaching, benefits from careful forethought. Few preachers approach the pulpit on Sundays with nothing planned for what they will say (and none should!). Rather, they take time through the week to pray, read the Bible, and consider how to encourage the saints. Why not do the same with our public prayers?
  3. Praying, like preaching, benefits from being open to movements of the Spirit in the moment. Even when preachers approach the pulpit with a manuscript, they are typically willing to add or subtract ideas in the very moment of preaching. Why not do the same with our public prayers?
  4. In short, praying is no more of a “holy” or “Spirit-filled” activity than preaching. Both should be done carefully, thoughtfully, deliberately, by faith, through the power of God’s Spirit, for the good of the saints, and for the glory of God.

For more great resources from Mark Dever and 9Marks Ministries, visit www.9marks.org