Practical Faith Life

How Do You Pray In Church?

Prayer is one of the most important means of a believer to talk to God. Praying in one’s own home is rarely a problem – but how about in a building dedicated to God? What do I need to consider in order to pray in a church? Are there certain rituals to observe? How should I behave?

First of all: Stay calm! Yes, you are in a house of God. And yes: Most of the time the feeling is something different than in your own kitchen. But: God sees and hears you, independent of any place. The effect of your personal prayer does not change!

Basically, you can abbreviate the whole article with the following sentence: If you don’t disturb anyone else, you can do your prayer as you like. How this looks in detail, you can read in the following:

How can I pray with others in church?

Let’s start with prayer with other people. On the one hand there are the prayers of the service, on the other hand the personal prayers of people present.

Detailed instructions on how to deal with the prayers in the church service cannot be given here: Each denomination has its personal traditions there, which are prayed through in church. Sometimes it is the reading of a psalm, sometimes the alternating reading of texts in certain groups of people (left side / right side, women / men etc.). Often it is the recitation of certain texts – here the recommendation: just imitate what others do and ask your pastor or minister after the service what the ritual means exactly now.

Personal prayer for others in church involves praying together for a person’s concerns. Just behave as you would in a normal prayer: Keep quiet and don’t disturb anyone. Speak quietly and don’t be loud. (The same is true, by the way, when you pray outside a church in a group). Stand close together so that you can understand each other better and look at each other.

How to pray in a church by yourself

For personal prayer, similar guidelines apply as for group prayer: keep quiet and do not disturb anyone. You may usually sit on an available bench to be absorbed in prayer. If people see you absorbed in prayer, they will very rarely disturb you. Somehow, people instinctively know that prayer is something very important and have respect for it – even atheist churchgoers.

Some churches, besides Sunday services, have other opening hours. It is usually okay to enter the church and pray inside at these times. After all, it is a building that is dedicated to God.

Important for Charismatic readers: Not everyone accepts or understands praying in tongues! Saying strange sounds is not only received strangely by unbelievers. The same goes for dancing or playing musical instruments – if it’s not common in your community: then don’t do it for now and look around to see if it’s okay.

How to pray in church service

The first two points apply especially when you are outside an event in a church or church building. During the events, usually some kind of worship service, it is required to follow the appropriate traditions and behaviors.

These can take completely different forms.

In many national churches, for example, there is a fixed order and way of speaking how prayers are to be said during this time. Sometimes they are said in the choir, sometimes the pastor (or minister) says something, sometimes someone in the pulpit and the congregation repeats it. It may also be that only part of the congregation responds (for example, all the women) or the congregation just listens at that moment.

In free churches there are also such traditions, but also the opposite: In charismatic congregations it can seem like pure chaos at first, if you don’t know the procedure. The focus is on the experience of the individual person.

If you don’t know how to act, stick to the following advice: stay calm, observe, and participate only when you know. Often, especially when praying together, lead the assembly and announce instructions.

Praying in church – The most important things in a nutshell

  • Behave in such a way that you do not disturb anyone
  • Choose a praying position that is not in anyone’s way
  • Respect the house rules

You may also like...