St Andrew’s United Reformed Church, Cheam
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St Andrew’s • Cheam

Duty descriptions

This is the old version of the website which is not kept up to date.
For the current website please go to

Rota: Prayers of intercession

Before the service

Prepare your prayers. Resources which may help you are listed on the Resources page.

Others have found The intercessions handbook and The second intercessions handbook by John Pritchard to be helpful resources. They are available from Bookshop UK here and here.

‘Intercession’ means asking for God’s help. Other aspects of prayer - often summarised as adoration, confession and thanksgiving - will have been covered elsewhere in the service.

Concerns you pray for may include:

  • The church - locally, nationally or worldwide
  • People in need - the ill, the lonely, the bereaved and so on
  • People in dangerous places - missionaries, soldiers, refugees
  • World concerns - people affected by war, famine or disaster
  • Leaders of the church, the nation and the world

That is not an exhaustive list, and it is not necessary to cover the whole list every Sunday. It’s better to pray in depth for a few topics than to present God with a long shopping list. Remember that God may be working through members of the congregation to answer some of your prayers, and you need to give time for them to consider and respond to what you are saying.

You may wish to pause and invite people to pray silently for a topic which affects them personally.

Mention individuals by name only if you are sure that they are willing to be mentioned (or are names in the public domain).

Steer clear of politics.

You should aim to pray for no more than 5 minutes.

During the service

At the appropriate time come up to the lectern and deliver your prayers. Please see the note below if your prayers include congregational responses.

There is a movable step behind the lectern. If you are tall you may wish to move it out of the way.

Do not adjust the microphone and try to avoid touching it as you speak.

Speak at a reasonable volume - as though you were addressing a room full of people. Speak more slowly than you would face-to-face: the church has a considerable echo and rapid speech is hard to hear. There is more on this subject on this page: Make yourself heard.

Prayers with responses

Using a responsive prayer helps to get the concregation involved in your intercessions. Here are some guidelines to help the congregation to know when to respond:

  • Precede each response with the same call, for example:
    Leader: Lord, in your mercy,
    All: Hear our prayer.
  • If you know early in the week that you will be using responses, inform the Church Administrator so that call and response can be printed in the order of service.
  • If you miss that deadline, inform the sound desk so that they can be shown on the screen.
  • Introduce your prayers by saying something like:
    When I say 'Lord, in your mercy' will you please respond with 'hear our prayer'
    and then rehearse it once by saying
    Lord, in your mercy,
    and join the people to respond hear our prayer.

Corrections? Additions?