10 Opening Prayers for Gatherings

Updated Nov 10, 2023
10 Opening Prayers for Gatherings

What better way to honor the Lord than to open our gatherings, meetings, celebrations, and services with prayer? Here are 10 special opening prayers you can pray at your gatherings.

This past weekend I hosted a group of women at our church for a day of fellowship, connection, and refreshment. It was the first time in many months we’d seen each other in person, and I realized what a precious gift God had given us—the gift of gathering and opening prayer.

A dear friend opened our time together with a heartfelt, inspiring prayer, and it set the tone for the entire day. We thanked God for the gift of getting together with friends and invited Him into our midst. It reminded me of the importance of praying at the beginning of every occasion. The apostle Paul told the church to “pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people” (Ephesians 6:18 NIV).

Find opening prayers for the following types of events in this article below:

  • Conferences
  • Church Business Meeting
  • Banquet
  • Awards Ceremony
  • Graduations
  • Ministry Retreat
  • Leadership or Planning Meeting
  • Church Service
  • Small Group or Bible Study
  • Family Celebration

What better way to honor the Lord than to open our gatherings, meetings, celebrations, and services with prayer? Here are ten special opening prayers you can pray at your gatherings. Let’s open our hearts to God’s presence by opening our times together in prayer.

An Opening Prayer for a Conference

Dear God,

Thank you for giving us the opportunity to gather here today. Thank you for protecting us as we traveled and providing an opportunity to meet, learn, and grow. As we begin our conference, we dedicate this time to you. We pray for the presenters, attendees, and volunteers who made this conference possible.

Your Word says in Colossians 3:17, “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Thank you for blessing our time together. Help us make new connections and gain wisdom to do the work you’ve set before us. We give you honor and glory, Lord.

In Jesus’ name, we pray, Amen.

An Opening Prayer for a Church Business Meeting

Dear Lord,

Thank you for this dedicated group of people who have come together to serve you and this congregation. Thank you for your protection over our church, your guiding presence, and the provision to minister to a lost world. Forgive us for any wrongdoing, and give us a clean heart.

As we begin our meeting, we declare that your purposes will prevail. Give us the wisdom to walk the path you’ve set before us. The apostle Paul encourages us with this truth in Philippians 2:2, “Then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind.” Help us to be unified according to your Word, Father. As we work together to fulfill your purpose, we commit to walk in grace, humility, and truth.

In Jesus’ name, we pray, Amen.

Photo Credit: © Unsplash/cottonbro

big feast with lots of food people

An Opening Prayer for a Banquet

Dear Lord,

Thank you for this special time of gathering in celebration. We are grateful for the people sitting at our tables, the bounty of food before us, and the chance to be together.

Throughout Scripture, special occasions were celebrated by holding a banquet, when your people would congregate to eat, fellowship, and enjoy your many blessings. Psalm 118:24 says, “This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.” Father, with joyful hearts in the spirit of thanksgiving, we ask you to bless this banquet and each person here.

In Jesus’ name, we pray, Amen.

An Opening Prayer for an Awards Ceremony

Dear God,

Thank you for bringing us together to recognize the hard work and dedication of this year’s award recipients. As we honor each name, help us to remember all glory belongs to you. Thank you for the friends and family who came to support and encourage these individuals. Without their love and support, this day would not be possible.

Colossians 3:23 says, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord…” As we observe the many accomplishments of our honorees, we acknowledge that none of it would be possible without you. Help us always remember to do everything with a grateful heart and to keep our focus on you.

In Jesus’ name, we pray, Amen.

An Opening Prayer for Graduations

Dear Lord,

Thank you for blessing us with another year, and for giving us the chance to gather and celebrate this milestone. Graduation is a special time for the graduates and the family, friends, and loved ones who’ve supported them along the way. Thank you for each person present here today.

Father, your Word says in Jeremiah 29:11, “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” Graduation can bring feelings of uncertainty about the future, but we know with you we have hope. Thank you for the good plans you have for us. Be with us as we honor this year’s graduates.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Photo Credit: © Getty Images/Foxys_forest_manufacture

singing guitar hymnal worship hymn songs praise music musicians

An Opening Prayer for Your Ministry Retreat

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you for this time away from our busy lives to reconnect with you. Forgive us for letting the distractions of daily life steal our focus. Forgive us for moments when we’ve forgotten to put you first. We invite you to be with us during this retreat. We are ready to receive the rest, peace, and refreshment you offer.

God, you remind us how important it is to spend quiet time with you in Psalm 46:10, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” As we begin our retreat, we give our cares and worries to you. Our complete attention is on you. We praise you for who you are—our Strength, our Deliverer, and our Provider.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

An Opening Prayer for a Leadership or Planning Meeting

Dear God,

Thank you for the faithful servants you’ve brought together to fulfill your purpose. You have given us willing hearts and a desire to proclaim the name of Jesus through word and deed. We ask you to give us wisdom, patience, and guidance as we plan for the future.

Jesus taught us to seek you first in all things. He said, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:33). As we begin our planning, help us first seek you and your will. Help us to respect one another and work together. We give you the glory for everything that is accomplished.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

An Opening Prayer for Your Church Service

Dear Heavenly Father,

We invite you into our presence. You are welcome in this place. Jesus said in Matthew 18:20, “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” As we begin our time of worship, we release our cares and anything else that would hinder us from experiencing more of you in this service today. We focus our hearts and minds on you.

Lord, you are worthy of our praise. Forgive us for having our minds set on other things and not giving you the honor you deserve. We gather together to lift up the name of your son Jesus, the name that is above every name. All glory belongs to you.

In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

Photo Credit: © Getty Images/freedom007

An Opening Prayer for Your Small Group or Bible Study

Dear God,

Thank you for your Holy Word and for giving us the opportunity as a group to study your Truth together. We ask you to guide us as we read Scripture, talk about your goodness, and encourage one another in the faith.

Ecclesiastes 4:12 says, “A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” Father, we know you strengthen us when we link arms with each other. Help us to grow in wisdom and grace alongside our group members.

In Jesus’ name, we pray, Amen.

An Opening Prayer for a Family Celebration

Dear Lord,

Thank you for the gift of family. We rarely get the chance to bring everyone together, so we do not take it for granted. Thank you for making the way possible for this family celebration.

Father, we know how important family is, but it’s hard to find the time to gather in the busyness of life. This day of celebration is a blessing from you. Help us to enjoy every moment, making memories that will last a lifetime. Bless everyone here and those who couldn't be with us today.

In Jesus’ name, we pray, Amen.

Further Reading

20 Opening Prayers Perfect for Meetings, Church, and Events

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

Photo Credit: © Sparrowstock

For more spiritual growth resources, check out the 5-day email study Walking with Rahab by today’s devotion writer, Kristine Brown. You’ll find weekly encouragement to help you “become more than yourself through God’s Word” at her website, kristinebrown.net. Kristine is the author of the book, Cinched: Living with Unwavering Trust in an Unfailing Godand the companion workbook.

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