Today we continue our reflection on worship as we talk about the Prayers of the People (sometimes called the “Pastoral Prayer” or “Congregational Prayer”). This is the time of prayer that occurs after the Offering in our church, but for some churches it occurs after the Sermon. In 1 Timothy 2:1-2 NIV Paul says, “I urge then . . . that petitions, prayers, intercessions and thanksgiving be made for all people—for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.” Accordingly, the church has prayed prayers of intercession for centuries. And this tends to be the focus of the Prayers of the People, following the example of Jesus himself, who intercedes for us. (See Jesus’ high priestly prayer in John 17.) Sadly, the Prayers of the People have lost prominence in many churches. In fact, not long ago I attended a worship service where there were no Prayers of the People. That’s not to say this church didn’t pray at all during the worship service, as many songs are prayers. But there were no specific prayers of intercession made for people. Sometimes the Prayers of the People are the first thing to be shortened or omitted if a worship service gets too long. But often this is the only time a church family will gather for prayer, so it should be guarded and nurtured. How will a church grow spiritually and remain unified if it doesn’t pray together? So, let us continue to pray for each other and the world each Sunday morning and beyond.