Back in the old days we used to refer to what is now the congregational prayer as the “long prayer”.  Last Sunday we set a record. Bob Koornneef took care of the “Welcome and announcements”,which included a lot of sick people and one death. So after going thru the usual preliminaries and mentioning these people, he prayed for the sick and the families of the deceased. Then followed the call to worship, singing of opening hymn, God’s greeting (Invocation),  Call to confession, Prayer of confession, Hymn of confession, and Assurance of Pardon , singing of a couple hymns, and then a baptism along with the children’s sermon. A visiting pastor handled the baptism of a relative, and he tended to be rather long winded. Following that was an anthem sung by a visiting soloist (all the verses), and then the offering. At this point in the service the bulletin says “Prayer of Thanksgiving and Intercession” (the long prayer). 

The guest preacher -the prayer, not the baptizer – must have looked at his watch and reflected on the length of the sermon he was to shortly preach.  His congregational prayer couldn’t have lasted more than ten seconds. A WORLD RECORD.



  1. Barbara said,

    July 20, 2006 at 3:41 pm

    Not for our church. We almost never have one (and I for one, much as we love our pastor, wish we did).

  2. RubeRad said,

    July 20, 2006 at 3:51 pm

    At our church we seem to always have our longest pray-er scheduled on Sundays with communion. Not that I’m complaining, but it just makes it tough when you’re barely making it through the service with kids. OK, maybe I am complaining.

  3. Barbara said,

    July 21, 2006 at 12:16 pm

    Glory be! I just learned last night that we are going to institute a congregational prayer once a month (on a cycle with communion, children’s story, and minute for missions, the last of which I’m in charge of).

  4. setty said,

    July 21, 2006 at 10:28 pm

    Don’t all churches include a “long prayer” in their liturgy. I thought it was in the Bible, that you had to have a long prayer!!!

    Which reminds me of a story the Rev. John Bratt told us. (By the way, John Bratt was a rather well known figure in the CRC). He was visiting a church and the minister saw he was in the audience, and thought it would be a nice gesture to invite John to lead in the “long prayer”. John wasn’t all that thrilled. When he conducted a service he spent quite a bit of time beforehand planning just what was to be the “long prayer”. Giving the “long prayer” by the seat of your pants wasn’t his idea of how it was to be done.

    He figured, I will show this fellow that he shouldn’t get these wild ideas. His “long prayer” was a close runner up to the world record long prayer. There were quite a few unplanned hymns sung that Sunday to get the church out at the traditional time.

  5. Bruce said,

    July 26, 2006 at 3:03 pm

    Got any figures for the world record in the opposite direction. Ever heard a long prayer that went for over 30 minutes?

  6. setty said,

    July 29, 2006 at 2:38 pm

    I doubt it. I am reminded of a former preacher who was a resident at 3rd floor nursing, Raybrook Manor. One of the instructions for people handling the devotions was to keep it short. The residents attention span wasn’t all that great. At the time there were two dining rooms separated by an archway, and in one room was a PA system and in the other room none. This preacher would assume the role of the chaplain for the other room. He would read a whole chapter of the Bible and then pray all around the world, but I am sure not 30 minutes.

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