Private Prayers for Public Worship

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Private Worship: Preparation for the Lord’s Day

A Litany of Prayers and Confessions for the Lord’s Holy Day

Each Lord’s Day is a gift from God—a day set aside from the routine of daily living to do two things:

  1. to worship the Lord in Spirit and Truth as we celebrate the glorious resurrection of Jesus, and,
  2. to rest from our labors.

I offer the following prayers for use in private prayer to help us focus on the ministry we must give to the Lord in worship and the ministry we must receive from Him in rest. These prayers and confessions are selected from my prayer book, The Book of Daily Prayer.

Stephen Phifer

Before Worship
BCP (adapted SRP)
O Almighty God, who pours out on all who desire it the spirit of grace and of supplication: Deliver me as I draw near to You, from coldness of heart and wanderings of mind, that with steadfast thoughts and kindled affections I may worship You in spirit and in truth; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

Psalm 43:3 BCP
Send out Your light and Your truth, that they may lead me, and bring me to Your holy hill and to Your dwelling.

Calls to Worship

Psalm 122:1 BCP
I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.”

Habakkuk 2:20
The Lord is in his holy temple; let all the earth keep silence before Him.

Psalm 24:7-10
Lift up your heads, O you gates; be lifted up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O you gates; lift them up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. Who is He, this King of glory? The LORD Almighty—He is the King of glory.

Psalm 100
Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth. Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.

Psalm 150 NKJV
Praise the LORD! Praise God in His sanctuary; Praise Him in His mighty firmament! Praise Him for His mighty acts; Praise Him according to His excellent greatness! Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet; Praise Him with the lute and harp! Praise Him with the timbrel and dance; Praise Him with stringed instruments and flutes! Praise Him with loud cymbals; Praise Him with clashing cymbals! Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD!

Psalm 145:3-7
Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom.
One generation will commend your works to another; they will tell of your mighty acts.
They will speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty, and I will meditate on your wonderful works. They will tell of the power of your awesome works, and I will proclaim your great deeds. They will celebrate your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of your righteousness.


For Sunday
O God, You make us glad with the weekly remembrance of the glorious resurrection of Your Son our Lord: Give us this day such blessing through our worship of You, that the week to come may be spent in Your favor; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

For the Church
Gracious Father, we pray for Your holy universal Church. Fill it with all truth, in all truth with all peace. Where it is corrupt, purify it; where it is in error, direct it; where in anything it is amiss, reform it. Where it is right, strengthen it; where it is in want, provide for it; where it is divided, reunite it; for the sake of Jesus Christ thy Son our Savior. Amen.

For the Mission of the Church
Ever-living God, whose will it is that all should come to You through Your Son Jesus Christ: Inspire our witness to Him, that all may know the power of His forgiveness and the hope of His resurrection; who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

For the Sanctuary
O Sovereign Lord, grant that our Sanctuary would be a place where Praises go up and grace comes down, Proud hearts are humbled and searching souls are redeemed, Broken hearts are mended and shattered minds are renewed.

Let this be the place where The Truth rises on shouts as well as songs, The Glory falls on hungry hearts, the Voice of the Spirit, the Call of God, is heard once more, The Anointing flows in fullness, and The Word of God is proclaimed with authority.

Let this hallowed room be the place where The Holy Spirit rules in power, Jesus, the Savior-Healer-Baptizer, walks among us, and The Loving Heavenly Father embraces the Prodigal.

Let it be a place where relationships are formed and maintained as Forgiveness flows to us as we let it flow to others, Healing flows as a mighty river; Revelation dawns and attitudes are changed.

Here, may The Plow of Worship break up the fallow ground of the hardest heart, may Tears water the seed of the Word sown therein and may Discipline, in the Father’s strong and loving hands, steady us.

In this Worship Hall, let the talented serve and may only the servant shine. Let the Music of the Highest Heaven shake the foundations of the lowest hell and Heaven’s Sweetest Harmonies soothe the clamor of a fallen creation. May Sabbath Rest blanket the weary soul.

Here, O Sovereign Lord, in this Your Dwelling Place,
Children laugh and God smiles; Men kneel and God gives strength; Women travail and God gives new life. In the Mighty Name of Jesus, the Sovereign Lord, We all agree. Amen!

Closing Prayer for Public Worship
Show us Your mercy, O Lord; And grant us Your salvation. Clothe Your ministers with
righteousness; Let Your people sing with joy. Give peace, O Lord, in all the world; For
only inYou can we live in safety. Lord, keep this nation under Your care; And guide us in
the way of justice and truth. Let Your way be known upon earth; Your saving health
among all nations. Let not the needy, O Lord, be forgotten; Nor the hope of the poor be
taken away. Create in us clean hearts, O God; And sustain us by Your Holy Spirit.Amen.

Confessions for Rest

Psalm 23 NIV
The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

Exhortation to Rest
Hebrews 4:9-16 NIV
There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience.

For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

Lord Jesus Christ, You stretched out Your arms of love on the hard wood of the cross that everyone might come within the reach of Your saving embrace: So clothe us in Your Spirit that we, reaching forth our hands in love, may bring those who do not know You to the knowledge and love of You; for the honor of your Name. Amen.

Ephesians 3:20-21 (adapted SRP)
Now unto Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power at work in us, Unto Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

Semper Reformanda!
Stephen Phifer
© 2017 Stephen R. Phifer All Rights Reserved

Private Prayers for Public Worship


    • Thanks, Brother Brock! I composed the “Prayer for Our Sanctuary” for a Saturday night prayer group at Suncoast Cathedral in St.Pete. I still love to pray it early on a Sunday morning! I hope it is a blessing to you.


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