Our Prayer Life

"Whatever prayer, whatever supplication is made by any man or by all thy people Israel, each knowing the affliction of his own heart and stretching out his hands towards this house [of prayer]; then hear thou in heaven thy dwelling place, and forgive, and act, and render to each whose heart thou knowest, according to all his ways for thou, thou only, knowest the hearts of all the children of men..." --1 Kings 8:38-39

"Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God..." --Philippians 4:6

Prayer in Worship and Personal Devotions

At St. Paul United Church of Christ, prayer is central to our worship and our personal faith life. During worship services our congregation prays for members and friends with special concerns for personal health and well-being. We also pray for our wider community and nation, as well as for our own church that it will be a faithful witness to the love and salvation made possible by the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Members arriving for worship on Sunday mornings will often pause for a moment of silent prayer in their pew before seating themselves. Every meeting and gathering at St. Paul Church also begins with special prayer and concludes with the Lord's Prayer shared together.

Our Prayer List

Our Morning Tide Sunday Bulletin always includes a "Fellowship of Concern," a printed list of members and friends who are in need of healing, and a roster of men and women with close ties to our congregation who are currently serving in the United States Armed Forces. Church members are asked to keep those included in the Fellowship of Concern and on the service roster in personal prayer throughout the week.

Requesting Prayers

You may like to ask for prayer for yourself, your family, or close friends during Sunday morning worship. Please speak up during the service when the pastor invites prayer requests. To include someone in the printed Fellowship of Concern or the United States Service roster contact the church office 313-291-1221.

Did You Know? A Word about the Lord's Prayer

The Lord's Prayer, also known in some churches as the "Our Father" prayer, was shared by Jesus with his apostles and disciples (Matthew 6:9-13). It has been widely used in most Christian churches ever since biblical times. However, as used by different churches, the Lord's Prayer has several slight variations. The most significant variation appears in the prayer's second sentence where the words "debt," "trespass," or "sin" can be alternatively used. Although other United Church of Christ congregations use the words "trespass" or "sin" in reciting the Lord's Prayer and the prayer book for the United Church of Christ offers all three versions, our mixed Reformed and Lutheran tradition at St. Paul Church leads us to use "debts" and "debtors."

The Lord's Prayer

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors, and lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For thou art the kingdom, the power, and the glory, forever and ever. Amen. 

Our Christian Prayer Tradition

In our Christian tradition, prayer reflects our deepest commitment to God and our highest aspirations as men and women. Some prayers are private and highly personal; others are very public and address prophetic concerns about faithfulness to the love and justice that Jesus preached. The length and formality of our prayers can also vary enormously, depending on need, occasion, and circumstance. Christian prayer is often expressly spoken in the name of Jesus Christ. However, because of the Trinitarian affirmation (God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit), every prayer to God includes Jesus Christ whether or not his name is even invoked. More meditative prayers are akin to mini-sermons or homilies: consciously or unconsciously, they reveal a great deal about our personal and congregational theology-the way we understand God and perceive ourselves as human beings.

"First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all men, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life, godly and respectful in every way. This is good, and it is acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour..."   --1 Timothy 2:1-3