Why should a worship service contain these different kinds of prayers (praise, thanksgiving, confession, intercession)?

A Christian worship service should contain different kinds of prayers so that the church would worship God rightly. God is inherently worthy of our praise, so we should praise him in prayer (Ps. 135:3). God is the giver of every good and perfect gift (Jas. 1:17), so we should thank him. God is the holy Lord of the universe, so we should confess our sins to him (Dan. 9; Neh. 9). God is a wise, all-powerful, and loving Father, so we should make requests of him and intercede with him on behalf of others (Matt. 7:7-11; Phil. 4:6).

What are the different kinds of prayer a church’s gathering should include?


In the Bible, we find prayers of praise to God, prayers of confession, prayers of thanksgiving, and prayers that lift up specific requests to God (Ps. 111; Ps. 51; 1 Cor. 11:24; Phil. 4:6). There’s no verse which says that a church gathering must contain four distinct times of prayer, each of which covers one of these four different postures. But we believe it’s prudent to do so for the sake of being deliberate about each, and for the sake of teaching the congregation how to do the same:

Book Review: The Prayer of Jabez, by Bruce Wilkinson

Review by Greg Gilbert | 03.03.2010

The theology of prayer that Wilkinson teaches in the book is entirely unconnected to the Christian gospel.

Book Review: Window on the World, by Daphne Spraggett

Review by Tim Cantrell | 9Marks Journal: Missions | 03.03.2010

I know of no other tool that compares with Window on the World for teaching kids and parents to pray together with God’s heart for the nations.

Class IV: Corporate Prayer

By Jamie Dunlop | 9Marks Journal: Living As a Church | 03.01.2010

Given how central prayer is to our lives as Christians, it makes sense that prayer is a vital part of building unity in our church.

“God told me” and the Sufficiency of Scripture

By Mark Dever | 03.01.2010

The Scriptures are sufficient. I know they are. God told me.

On the Use and Importance of Corporate Prayer

By Mark Dever | 9Marks Journal: Corporate Prayer | 02.26.2010

Corporate prayer begins to take out the individualistic assumption that Christianity is only about me and my relationship with God.

Prayer in the Life and Ministry of the Pastor

By Mark Dever | 02.26.2010

In times that are hard, we encourage ourselves by praying, remembering that this is ultimately God’s work.

Praying Beyond Health Concerns

By David Powlison | 02.26.2010

Why don’t church members pray beyond the sick list? Often because their pastors have not taught or modeled otherwise.

The Devotional Life of the Professional Christian

By Mike Gilbart-Smith | 9Marks Journal: The Emerging Church | 02.26.2010

Unless we appreciate the importance and the urgency of prayer and meditation on God’s Word, we will leave it until tomorrow.

Things I’ve Seen and Heard — When Pastors Gather

By Matt Schmucker | 02.26.2010

When the leadership of your church gathers, what typically happens?

Thirty Two Principles for Public Prayer

By Ligon Duncan | 9Marks Journal: Corporate Prayer | 02.25.2010

Public prayer should abound in the language of Scripture.

Corporate Aspects of the Lord’s Prayer*

By Phil Ryken | 9Marks Journal: Corporate Prayer | 02.25.2010

Since the Lord’s Prayer is a family prayer, we not only pray with one another, we also pray for one another.

Sample Corporate Prayers from December 9, 2007

9Marks | 9Marks Journal: Corporate Prayer | 02.25.2010

It is to the praise of Christ alone that we pray these things, through him, amen.

Sample Sunday School Class-On Corporate Prayer

By Jamie Dunlop | 9Marks Journal: Living As a Church | 02.25.2010

In corporate prayer we show our utter dependence to God as a church.