If you are currently leading a prayer group, or thinking of forming one, these ideas will enrich your time together with the Lord.
- Focus your prayer time on God. Include worship, praise, and thanksgiving through song, Scripture, testimonies of praise, and praise videos or audiotapes.
- Include a time of silent, personal confession. This will help “clear the air” for the participants (Psalm 66:18).
- Stimulate prayer through short, appropriate devotional messages (live or taped).
- Keep the sharing of prayer requests brief so most of the time is spent actually praying.
- Ensure a balance of personal requests (supplication) and requests for others (intercession) by leading with one or the other when the list seems skewed, thus encouraging others to do so as well. That way, some might find that God is leading them to pray for things other than what they first had in mind.
- Talk to God in conversational language. Avoid making a prayer speech or preaching during your prayer. This will ease the minds of those who are not as used to praying in a group.
- Tell the members that they can pray as often as they wish, but avoid monopolizing the time. When experienced pray-ers keep their prayers short and simple, the inexperienced pray-er is not intimidated.
- Prevent predictability by changing the format of the meetings. Use various themes such as the attributes of God, those found in Scripture, the characteristics of prayers, etc.. Have different people plan and direct the meeting.
- Throughout each meeting, ensure adequate changes in position (sit, stand, kneel, join hands in a circle) and groupings (partners, threes, one person praying while all agree).
- During your time, write a note or card from the group telling people you spent time bringing them before the Lord. As you pray together for leaders, take time periodically to write to them, saying that you are praying for them.
- Try new locations for your gathering, but do it discreetly. You don’t have to always meet at church. Try gathering in different homes. Pray in a park, or in cars, at or near the site where local social issues are an ongoing concern. Take a prayer walk, together enjoying God and his creation as you pray.
- Make sure to maintain confidentiality regarding anything personal that is shared. Doing so is key to building trust and a sense of safety.
Photo Credit: Ben White