Prayer is powerful. Our prayers tap into the unlimited power of God.
We glorify God through our prayers. We get through difficult times through prayer. We change as our prayer life grows stronger.
Spiritual growth requires prayer. It is important to lead your small group members to have a life filled with prayer. Your encouragement can start with a prayer time during your small group meetings.
Here is how you can lead your group in prayer:
Decide On a Method for Group Prayer Time
There are many ways to do group prayer.
With a new group, you may want to pray out loud yourself and have the rest of the group members pray with you silently. You can ask one or more of the group members, in private, if they would be willing to lead the prayer. You can also go into the group prayer time letting anyone pray out loud if they want. Then when everyone has had an opportunity, you can say a final prayer to close the prayer time. For other ideas on group prayer read 6 Ways to Upgrade Group Prayer.
Whatever you do, no one should feel like they’re forced or pressured to pray.
If you have new people in your group, it is important that you explain what prayer is (and isn’t). There are several reasons for this:
- They may not know what prayer is. This has been the case in some of my small groups. Don’t put them in a position of feeling embarrassed by asking, or worse yet, not asking. The explanation usually results in a great conversation involving all the members. If interested, consider doing a Bible study on prayer soon.
- They may not know what prayer isn’t. When some people talk about others they believe are great at praying, it usually sounds like they are describing a motivational speaker, not a prayer warrior. The Bible warns against praying in public for show (Matthew 6:5).
- Members reluctant to pray in a group may be willing to give it a try once they understand what prayer is really all about.
Jesus provided an example of a prayer in Matthew 6:9-13.
Ask for Items to Pray About
Ask members what they would like the group to pray with God about. Remind them it is not all about what we want from God. It can include items of thanks and praise. Be sure to include any prayers God answered.
Here are some tips on prayer requests:
- Write down the requested items.
- Refrain from trying to fix things that are mentioned. Some members, and maybe you, will want to do this. If this happens, interrupt the conversation with love and remind the group about the purpose of the moment. One exception to this is if the request is about salvation.
- Don’t allow members to dominate this time with a long list of items. If this starts happening, feel free to limit the number of items.
- Stop members from dominating the time by describing each item in excruciating detail. God already knows all about the situation. If not careful, too many details can turn into fodder for gossip. Unfortunately, Christians are famous for doing this.
Pray with God as you planned in the first step.
Don’t be compelled to say the group prayer in a certain way or for a certain length of time to sound more spiritual. That is not pleasing to God. Have an authentic conversation with Him.
Keep track of what the group asks in prayer. Note when God answers each item. Reviewing this list as a group from time-to-time will show the power of prayer.
Question: What are some ways you have improved your personal or group prayer life? You can leave a comment by clicking here.