Opening Prayers to Start Your Bible Study, Worship, and Meetings

Whether you're meeting for Bible study, work, or church worship, starting off with an opening prayer is the best way to focus your mind's attention and your heart's affection on unity and God's purpose!

Christianity.com Editorial Staff
opening prayer

If you're looking for a prayer to start your time together, we hope to help you find the right words for your gathering! Whether you are preparing for an important meeting, a bible study group, or church worship, using an opening prayer is a great way to focus your purpose. Scripture reminds us of the importance and power of prayer, and even Jesus stopped to pray often! When we seek to open our meeting time in prayer, we are inviting God into our presence and seeking His glory.

We want to share some of our favorite opening prayers with you below. If you're nervous about praying in front of a group, take some time to read over these words and ask God to give you peace and boldness. May these prayers encourage those gathered and inspire your faith. God can and will work through you and those gathered together for His kingdom!

A Simple Opening Prayer

Father God, we gather here today under your care and protection. Thank you for your lovingkindness that never fails us. We thank you for those with us, that you would guide our thoughts and actions to bring you glory. Strengthen us and fill us with your peace. May we love and serve each other as Jesus has shown us. Fill us with the Holy Spirit to do your good work on earth. Amen.

Lord Jesus, you are worthy of all honor and praise. Help us to love as you do and to act wisely so that others will be drawn to your salvation and hope. May we build each other up and encourage each other today as we give you all the glory!

Gracious Father, Thank You for this invitation to be transformed in Your presence; heart, mind and soul. I belong with You. I need You. I love You. I worship You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. (Gwen Smith)

Opening Prayer for a Meeting

Dear God, we thank you for everyone gathered here today and ask that you surround us with your powerful, life-changing presence. Thank you for loving each of us and for calling us to walk with you. We come before you as we meet and declare our dependence on you. Be a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path. Fill our hearts with your love, fill our words and conversations with truth and grace. We ask all of these things in praise and adoration of You. Amen. 

Father, thank You for sending Your son, Jesus Christ, to die in our place and to pay the price for our sins. We can never offer enough thanks for Your grace, mercy and love. We want to serve you with all that we have. Lead and direct us in the way we should go today, and all days. We want to serve you and your Kingdom. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Father God, Thank you for impacting our lives and our purpose with your truth. Open our eyes to see the opportunities around us to serve you and to grow in your blessings and favor. Bless our time together, focus our minds, soften our hearts, make our time together count for you. 

Prayers for Bible Study

Heavenly Father, we believe and trust your Word, we want to grow in you more each day and to understand your promises for us. We commit our time together to you and ask that you heal and restore us as we dive into your Word. We want a deeper faith. We want to meet with you and know you better. So today, we say "yes" to what you want to show us as we read Scripture. Amen

Jesus, Thank You for placing friends in our lives to love us and intercede on our behalf. Help us to have powerful faith and to act on our faith to love and help others. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. (Beth Mabe Gianopulos)

Dear God, Thank you for this beautiful group that has gathered to study your Word. Help us to be real with each other and with you today. Give us courage to be honest and to talk with those we trust. We want to experience the hope, freedom, and peace that comes from confession to you and to others. In Jesus' name, amen. 

Opening Prayer for Worship and Church

Dear Jesus, you are the author and perfecter of our Faith. You save us and sustain us. Help us to trust in your and to worship whether we have a lot of a little. May our praise bring you glory and remind us of your promises. We love you, Lord, we seek your presence, and we worship you alone.

Father God, we come before you today laying down our pride and arrogance and confess our need for you. We lay our needs at  your feet and worship you alone. Without you, we are nothing. Teach us how to worship you in all transparency. Fill us with your Spirit as we open our mouths in praise to you. 

Lord, You have told us in Your Word that You hear our prayers. We are crying out to You, we are humbling ourselves before You and seeking Your face. We come together as a church body to seek You. We repent and turn from our wicked ways, thank You for hearing us. Thank you for Your forgiveness and healing. (Candace Crabtree, Prayers for the Church)

God, We ask for your help in being a light in every place you’ve given us to walk. Give us care and wisdom as we live and work with one another. Help us to look to another’s needs before our own, and to always be ready to serve those around us by the power of your love within us. Even in every dark and broken place, for the times we feel like we’re barely making it through, give us your joy Lord, your grace, and the powerful presence of your peace. (Debbie McDaniel)

Father God, Thank You for this Sunday. Lord, we come before you first and foremost with hearts of gratitude. You have seen us through another week, and we stand at the threshold of a fresh week, full of new beginnings. Lord, help us start this bright embarking with You. Stir in us a deep desire to come into further relationship with You. Remind us that it is not solely by going to Sunday service that we worship and come before You; rather, it is through the daily communion with You through relationship and prayer. (Cally Logan, a Sunday Prayer)

Prayers for a Wedding Ceremony

Dear Lord, As this couple begins their lives together on their wedding day, I pray that their hearts will unite as one with You in their desire to make You the center. May this day be the start of something beautiful, a celebration unlike any other. May their love—like the wedding rings they will wear—be a circle that never ends. Grow that love relationship into one that is patient and kind, not boastful or proud, one that is unselfish and trusting, and a love that protects and perseveres through every season of life. (Rebecca Barlow Jordan, from A Prayer to Pray at Weddings)

Lord, This wedding day marks the beginning of a journey you planned for each of us before time. Our lives are in your hands, and we commit to follow wherever you lead. “Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.” (Hebrews 12:1-2) Knit our hearts together so we follow you as one. 

Keep us from turning aside to go our own way. Make us like-minded, with shared hopes, dreams, and resolve for the future. May we never urge one another to turn back from you. But where one of us is called to go, the other will go, and where one is led to stay, the other will gladly stay. Let us embrace one another’s friends and family as our own. Fill us with a deep faith in you that abides for all time. (Ruth 1:16-17) Unite us on the same path until we see you face to face. Amen.

Lord,  On this joyful day we dream of sharing a long life together. While death will separate loved ones in the end, we recognize other threats to our union even now. We pray for grace and help as you make us one, that nothing and no one will break us apart.

Lord, We believe you are the author of our story and the creator of our marriage. In your holiness and power you will make us one flesh all the days of our lives. You call us to faithful love that never fails. We praise you for joining us together as one. (excerpts from 10 Beautiful and Meaningful Prayers for Your Wedding Day, by Joanna Teigen)

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Originally published April 16, 2021.