The chief problem with the pastoral prayer is that it often tries to do everything and often ends by doing nothing. At its best, it can be a magnificent articulation of the congregation's deepest feelings and needs. Some pastors have this gift; others of us do not. Too often the pastoral prayer is simply overloaded and tries to cover confession, thaksgiving, intercession, and all points in between as if one try were better than several."
by James F. White, worship historian