Aug 12, 2013

Intercessory Prayer based on the Beatitudes

Here’s a model for intercessory prayer based on the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:3-12.  It was written by Stasi McAteer, and posted on Richard Webb’s Clayfire Curator website.

He writes: Based on the Beatitudes, Stasi has constructed a community prayer experience that combines both practices into an organic and seamless whole.

These Intercessory Prayers make use of a leader who leads the congregation through a series of congregational responses, periods of silent reflection, and spontaneous silent prayer. She’s designed this element using a call-and-response form that eliminates the need for any printed material or projected text.

One of the crucial aspects of this prayer experience is the frequent periods of silent reflection following each congregational response. This silence helps the worshiper process what they’ve just heard and spoken. Before each of these periods of silence the leader asks worshipers to remember the people Jesus names in each of the Beatitudes—those who are poor in spirit, those who mourn, those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, etc. In her instructions to the leader, Stasi asks him or her to make sure the times of silence are “long enough to promote reflection but not so long that people get restless.”


Intercessory Prayer

based on the Beatitudes
(Matthew 5:3-12)

Leader: Living into the blessings and challenges of the Beatitudes requires great strength and courage. We can only reach this goal by grounding ourselves, as a community, in prayer.

As we come before God together, I invite you into the Beatitudes: into their surprising blessings, and their bold proclamation of the Kingdom. From the beginning of Christianity, our mothers and fathers in the faith have relied on these seemingly simple words to guide their lives, to help them understand God’s will, and to direct them into prayer for and suffering with the world.

I will read each phrase and invite you to repeat it. Then I will suggest a focus for a brief time of silent prayer and meditation.

Brief silence

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

All: Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Remember the poor of our world,
for whom the kingdom of heaven often seems distant and unattainable.

Silence

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

All: Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.

Remember those who are in mourning,
who have lost someone or something dear to them.
Pray for their comfort.

Silence

(pattern follows….)

~ written by Stasi McAteer, and posted on Richard Webb’s Clayfire Curator website. http://clayfirecurator.afpwpdev.augsburgfortress.org/2011/09/beatitudes-intercessory-prayer-richard-webb/