We recognize that classis is a place and time for the churches to engage in collective spiritual discernment. One way we honour the spiritual nature of these meetings is by opening and closing with prayer. But what to pray?
Written and prepared prayers can be a gift to the church, giving the community words to speak at important times in the church's life. Buried deep in the back of the Christian Reformed Church's 1934 red hymnal is a short collection of such prayers. Two of these, "Opening/Closing Prayer for Ecclesiastical Assemblies," recently resurfaced at the meeting of Classis Pacific Northwest, and hearing them led me on a journey to find the original text in the old red hymnal.
For those interested, I saved you the trouble of finding them and have copied the text below. I'm posting the prayers both as the original 1934 text and as a version I edited with slightly updated language. But feel free to make your own edits if you'd like to use them, whether that's directly as opening & closing prayers or as a way to inform and strengthen your own prayers for assemblies of the church.