Fine, useful and interesting blog post from Kelvin Holdsworth on the intercessions.
Long prayers are a problem for the service leader (I will use a generic term as "worship leader" can be confused with "music group leader" and "priest" with only upset nonconformists and "minister" begs the question if everybody isn't in some sense a minister. But I digress.)
In our own congregation, the main problem is Ozric. He's the one who, in a "spontaneous" contribution to collective prayers, used three points, handouts and an altar call.
But when we put some order into things, as request by the Apostle in 1 Corinthians, we also ran into trouble. We instituted a rota. Ozric got on it. We gave training. Ozric nodded sagely, made some meaningful contributions at the sessions. Then two weeks later he gave us twenty minutes of prayer for his aunt's recovery from an operation. With some toe-curdling detail. We made everybody submit their (written) prayers in advance. He "got inspired" halfway through. And who can argue with the Spirit?
And you know how I was saying the other day, how hard it is to fire a church volunteer? Well, we bit the bullet. Took the bull by the horns. Went for it. And deliberately planned his week on the rota for when we knew he was away.
Swapped with someone, didn't he? Thirty minutes into the prayers for Japan - in which he decided to pray for each town in that country, by name - Hnaef had had enough.
It's not common among the congregations of the saved, I know, that the person leading intercessions has a potato sack shoved over his head and is carried out to the car park. But it was gently done. That evening, as we walked past on the way back from the White Horse, we could hear the muffled word "Yakushima." So at least he'd nearly finished.
Once again we have banned prayers of intercession from Moot House gatherings. We've realised prayer is just too disruptive to the work of the Church. But if anyone wants to join the newly-set-up Prayer Group, it meets in the Rainbow Room every night from 8pm till midnight. Though be warned. If a second person joins Ozric, it might last even longer.