Why is it that the public prayers in worship often have so little thought and preparation behind them? I can confess my own reasons: it takes time and work, and I too often think of public prayer as doing what you do in private, just letting other people listen in through the PA system. But when any of us take real time and effort to think through the particular needs of the congregation and the dynamics of the particular gathering, public prayer is powerful. After all, we are leading people into an engagement with God. Kevin deYoung has an excellent article in which he offers twelve dimensions of thoughtful prayer preparation, including: 1) Use forms with freedom; 2) Pray Scripture; 3) Don’t footnote; 4) Leave the preaching for the sermon; 5) Share some details of congregational life, but not all. Read the whole article for the rest.