Prayer – a core element of small groups

Prayer – a core element of small groups

Prayer is an intraoral  element in the life of your group and here are a few reasons why:

• Group prayer can open up the heart and draw out real needs from your group members.
• Prayer develops a love for and trust in others.
• As prayers are answered, faith and trust in God will increase and people will grow in Christ.

For some people, praying out loud in a small group can be an intimidating experience. I have found the words of Jesus in Matthew 6 to be a helpful reminder in how to approach prayer.

"And when you come before God, don't turn that into a theatrical production either. All these people making a regular show out of their prayers, hoping for stardom! Do you think God sits in a box seat? "Here's what I want you to do: Find a quiet, secluded place so you won't be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace. "The world is full of so-called prayer warriors who are prayer-ignorant. They're full of formulas and programs and advice, peddling techniques for getting what you want from God. Don't fall for that nonsense. This is your Father you are dealing with, and he knows better than you what you need. With a God like this loving you, you can pray very simply." Matt 6:5-9, The Message

Here are a few tips to help people feel more comfortable praying in your group:
   1. Never force group members to pray
   2. Keep your prayers simple
   3. Study the passage above with the group and draw principles from it to guide your prayer time
   4. As the leader, once again, you set the pace, you model what you desire to see in others.
   5. Have group members offer one or two words of thanks and praise.
   6. Keep a group prayer journal.
   7. Use a passage like Psalm 5 to read out loud together as a group prayer.