Ways to enrich group prayer

Ways to enrich group prayer

Variety is the spice of life - and of small group prayer times. Get away from the weekly grind of sharing requests, praying for requests, and immediately forgetting requests with these ideas:

• Teach about prayer. Point group members to the practical insights given in Scripture. Look together at prayers that are recorded in the Bible. They can teach you how to praise, give thanks, make requests, confess, and so on.

• Pray directly to God. Instead of sharing requests with one another and then repeating them to God, ask people to give their requests directly to God. For example, someone may say, "Lord, I have a situation at work that's becoming stressful." Group members can than join in with sentence prayers for wisdom, patience, and a sense of God's presence, and so forth.

• Encourage unity in prayer by directing silent prayer time for each request. You might say, "Lord, we pray for Jill as she prepares for her upcoming exam." Then let a minute pass while people pray in silent unity for Jill. Continue with other requests in the same manner.

• Finish a sentence. For example: "One of the best things about you, God is…." Or, "I love you, Lord, because…" or "Lord, I'm wondering…."

• Encourage prayer journaling and share from your own prayer journal on occasion.

• Gather written prayers from various sources. Assign one prayer to an individual to pray during the week and then bring it back to read during the group prayer time. This works especially well if you can gather prayers written about a specific theme you're studying.

• Learn to relax with silence. The psalmist wrote, "Be still and know that I am God" (Ps.46:10). Remind group members that it's not what we say that brings us into prayer. It's God Himself who draws us to His heart. Learn to rest in His presence.

— Marsha Crockett, taken from Discipleship Journals' Best Small group Ideas, Volume 2.