Any brother in Christ who engages in the leading of a public prayer takes on a weighty responsibility. His prayer must be the prayer of all those whom he is endeavoring to lead into the presence of God (Hebrews 4:14-16 – NKJV; cf. Ephesians 2:18 – NKJV).
Here are a few suggestions for efficient, worshipful leading in public prayer:
1) Make proper preparation — The man who leads a public prayer, should know in advance before he leads, so that he will be able to think about the words he will use in the prayer. He might even jot down some ideas beforehand, as well as the names of the individuals for whom he places before God in prayer (1 Thessalonians 1:1-3 – NKJV; cf. 2 Timothy 1:1-3 – NKJV).
2) Speak audibly and clearly — Obviously, those present cannot pray properly with their prayer leader unless he prays loudly and clearly enough to be heard and understood. The use of the public address (PA) system for assisted hearing is a necessity, especially for the hearing impaired.
3) Address the prayer to God, the Father — Do not speak “of” Him, but “to” Him (Luke 11:2 – NKJV).
4) Make the prayer of reasonable length — Not too long is just as important as not too short (see Matthew 6:9-13 – NKJV for our Lord’s example).
5) Avoid vain repetitions — Some phrases have been used with such regularity among us that they have become meaningless. Use freshness of thought and language (Matthew 6:7 – NKJV; cf. Ecclesiastes 5:2 – NKJV).
6) Refrain from personal references to your own life and situation — Do your private praying in a private setting (Matthew 6:6 – NKJV).
- Note the Psalmist’s petition as an example of sincere and heartfelt praying (Psalm 143 – NKJV).