Prayer Leader

What is a prayer leader?

At our 9.15am service we have a prayer leader who reads the biddings for our time of prayer, known as ‘The Prayers of the People.’ This is a time of extemporaneous prayer, meaning that it is a spontaneous, and usually non-formulaic prayer time, with verbal praise, confession, thanksgiving, and/or petition offered to God in silence, or out loud. The prayer leader helps us pray as a worshiping community.

In the first letter of Peter, the church is described as the priesthood of all believers. The work of the priesthood is to mediate between God and people, and prayer is bringing people’s concerns to God.  Prayer is part of the work of the church.  It invites God to work in the lives of people.  When we pray, we talk with God about situations that concern us, things in our personal lives:  the birth of children, the death of loved ones, crises we go through, situations happening in our community, and things we hear on the news: war, natural disaster, elections. Also, hearing scripture read or a sermon preached, may bring to remembrance something that needs to be prayed for.  Our prayers should tie in things that were said in the scriptures of the day and the sermon.

The Prayers of the People then should reflect what we, as a community, want to tell God.

What biddings do you use?

Leader: Father, we pray for the Church throughout our Diocese, nation, and world…
Leader: Father, we pray for the Cathedral: our leaders, members and ministries…
Leader: Father, we pray for all missionaries throughout the world…
Leader: Father, we pray for our nation, our government, and all civic leaders…
Leader: Father, we pray for all those who live and work in our neighborhood of Midtown…
Leader: Father, we pray for those who suffer from any sickness, grief or trouble…
Leader: Father, we praise you for your saints who have entered into joy…
Leader: Father, we pray to hear your voice and to follow you.
[Note that a period of silence is observed after the last bidding]


The roles of the prayer leader

The prayer leader should take time before the service to look through the prayers and ask God if there is anything that we, as a congregation, should particularly be praying for this week after each bidding. Write these down and then be prepared to pray for them out loud if no one else in the congregation does.

Being in position to Read

As the priest is leading the prayer immediately before the Prayers of the People, the prayer leader should walk quietly to the microphone next to the pulpit to be in position to read the biddings. After each bidding is read, please give about 15 seconds before moving on to the next bidding. Do not be afraid if there is a long silence after the prayers: please allow people time to respond, either out loud, or silently, in their hearts. As noted before, you are also welcome to respond to the biddings yourself.

As the priest reads the collect to close, please walk quietly back to your seat.

The prayer leader also serves as a chalicist during communion.

Is training provided?

Absolutely. Anyone who would like to be an prayer leader / chalicist is trained by Father Peet.

Learn more & serve as a prayer leader.

Contact Kelli Hample in the Cathedral office: