5 Ways to Pray for Your Church

How can we pray more diligently and specifically for the parish of which we are a part?


Recently, as I thought about my own regular prayer times, I was challenged by a question that arose in my mind – do I consistently pray for my own parish? I noted that the question was not do I pray for people in my parish, because I do pray for those that are sick or in especially needy circumstances. It wasn’t even do I pray for our rector and pastoral leadership, because I do intercede on their behalf and that of their families.

No, the question, that I believe was initiated by the Holy Spirit, was after something else, something corporate, something of eternal consequence – our small but unique expression of the Body of Christ and our small but unique role in God’s masterplan of salvation of humanity. Does that sound a bit grandiose, a bit over-reaching? Because, after all, we’re just a tiny group of Anglican Christians trying to survive in an ever-increasingly hostile environment, right? 

And, therein, is perhaps a clue as to how we might pray – a more Biblical view of the local church and its Godly purposes. However small, a parish can be a beacon of God’s Love for the lost, a witness to the glory of Christ’s resurrection, and a model of Hope and Expectation as we await the return of the Lord.

“Please pray that God will make our five priorities a transformational reality in the life of every ANiC congregation.” – Bishop Charlie

When Bishop Charlie Masters took on the role as our diocesan bishop, he believed passionately that the Lord gave him five ministry priorities to be the hallmark of his leadership. In his Bishop’s Charge at our 2014 synod, Bishop Charlie implored us, “My prayer is that these priorities might be established as the marks or the DNA of our life together and would always sustain us. Please pray that God will make our five priorities a transformational reality in the life of every ANiC congregation.” 

As I have considered how to pray more diligently and specifically for the parish of which I and my family are a part, I can think of no better way to pray than to ask that these five priorities find full expression in our midst; indeed, changing the very spiritual DNA of our congregation. Here are some prayers that I wrote at that time that I pray will help each one us as we seek to pray for our corporate expression of the Body rather than just individuals within that body.

O Father, we are so grateful that you are continuing to guide us in your purposes. You have not left us to our own devices. We are excited (and, if we’re honest, a bit fearful) about the future that you have planned for us. But we are only too well aware that we cannot achieve these five priorities in our own strength and with our own resolve. The task is quite beyond us! So, we call out to you for your wisdom, discernment, and the power of your Mighty Spirit. Remind each of us to pray daily for these priorities that they would more and more become a reality in our parish lives, and deeply rooted in ANiC’s corporate DNA. We desperately need you, blessed Lord. Hear our prayer we ask. Amen.


“It is my keen desire and conviction that we need to set our minds and our hearts towards training and equipping one another to know and be ready to share the good news of the gospel in a way which our family members and friends, our colleagues and our neighbours can understand.”  
+Charlie’s 2014 Charge to Synod

Almighty God, you have lavished such love on us that we can scarcely find words to express our thanks. We ask you to give to each of us a deepened zeal to spread the Good News to those around us who do not yet experience your love for them. We have been praying that you would bring a powerful awakening in our day. Now we sense, Lord, that you are asking us to rise up, to overcome our timidity with the boldness of the Spirit. We deeply desire to respond to your call! Give to every member of our church the grace to see those around them with your eyes of compassion and sacrificial love. And may we see a glorious harvest in the days ahead. In Jesus’ mighty name we pray. Amen.


“It is my hope and intention that every congregation will work very hard at helping every member of the congregation be more involved in the Bible so that our Biblical literacy grows and we are fully able ‘to rightly handle the word of truth.”  
+Charlie’s 2014 Charge to Synod

Heavenly Father, we ask you to give us a renewed love and passion for your word, the Bible. We are guilty of taking it for granted, and for leaving real knowledge of its teaching to the “experts”; the theologians and clergy. And yet, it is a gift to each of your children; the means by which we grow in our love for you and the means by which you protect us from sin and error. Forgive us for our neglect and lethargy. Give us spiritual eyes with which to read and understand your word. Establish discipline in each of us such that we may take care to feed our souls as well as we feed our bodies. In Jesus’ Name we pray. Amen 


“Jesus is calling all of us to be childlike and humble in our awareness of our desperate need for a Saviour and to put our simple trust in him. But he is also making it clear that children have the inside track in terms of these qualities and are not to be held away at the very time when they are the most receptive and ready to receive.”
+Charlie’s 2014 Charge to Synod

Heavenly Father, we see in the actions of Jesus your passionate love of children and your deep desire for them to come into the Kingdom, even at an early age. We pray for a mighty, sovereign work of your Spirit among the children that you have given into our sphere of influence – our own sons and daughters, grandchildren, neighbourhood kids. Prosper the children’s ministries already flourishing in our ANiC churches, and raise up many more, so that the children of our cities and towns may have the opportunity to know your love and saving grace. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.


“The fact is the only reason the Lord leaves us here in this world is because he has called us and appointed us to go and bear fruit. We are to be a people who are strategic and missional and always planning, praying, and working towards reaching the very people who are outside the circle of the church and, in many cases, are showing no interest at all in what we have to offer.” 
+Charlie’s 2014 Charge to Synod

O Lord Jesus, we repent of so frequently seeing survival as the ultimate goal and being satisfied with false finish lines. Forgive us, we pray, for the tendency to slip back into “doing church as usual” and for not sharing your burden for a lost world, a world for which you paid the ultimate price to redeem. Give us grace to look outside our own parish families to the desperately needy just beyond our borders. Free us from being “the Church institutionalized” and set us on fire with passion to share the Gospel as “the Church mobilized”. May the Lord keep our vision and activity outward-looking. Come, Holy Spirit, come! Amen.


“It is clear from Scripture that God’s intention to reach this world for Christ is by the establishment of the Church and local churches as the platforms through which the gospel goes forward. We have made a good start, but we have a very long ways to go as we seek to plant churches in every major community in Canada. Every congregation no matter how large or how small needs to be thinking about church planting.”
+Charlie’s 2014 Charge to Synod

Heavenly Father, we are so grateful for the gift of your salvation and for the privilege of being members of Christ’s Body, the Church. We thank you that you plan to use churches, however humble, to reach the lost of our cities and towns. We are full of gratitude for the ANiC parishes and church plants that you have already established, and now, Lord, we ask you for more. We ask for courage for those that you are calling to leave the comfort of their existing church family and to launch a new work.May we see our vision of a biblically-faithful, gospel-sharing Anglican church planted in every city and town across our nation come to fruition, and may the power of your Holy Spirit rest upon our existing parishes, including ours, granting them a bountiful harvest with “fruit that remains”. In the mighty Name of Jesus, our Saviour and Coming King! Amen.

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Rev. Canon Garth Hunt
Canon for Prayer Support

Garth is the Bishop’s Canon for Prayer Support in ANiC and member for St. George’s Burlington. He lives in Ontario with his wife of over 40 years, Margaret. They have two sons and four grandchildren.

Scott HuntPrayer