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Prayer Ideas for Small Groups

To the Leader: As the leader of a group of people praying together, view yourself as the coach or trainer. You set an example of fervent, faith-filled prayer. You do NOT do all the praying. You plan simple activities that facilitate people learning to pray as a group.

God can do more when we pray than when we don't.

Following are some great ideas.

Write down the name of yet-to-believe friends on 3x5 cards, one name per card. Write a brief description of how to pray for the needs of each person. Hand out the cards and pray in groups of 2 or 3 over the names. Collect them at the end of the meeting so that they can be redistributed to pray again at the next meeting.

Take a prayer walk around the dorm or campus. Pray for students and professors to find Christ. Pray for each Christian group on campus. Ask God to show you what He is wanting to do in each arena. Then, pray it. Read portions together of Prayer Evangelism by Ed Silvoso.

Pray Scripture into people's lives. The leader prays the first one to show how.

For example, 1 Thessalonians 3:13 May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones. “Dear Lord, please strengthen my heart-level determination to do what is right. Give me your grace to make decisions that lead to holiness. Jesus, I look forward to your return. … etc.”

Choose a Scripture for the small group to use to pray for different needs:

  • For those yet to believe (Isaiah 55:6-8; 2 Corinthians 10:3-5; Ephesians 5:14-18; Psalm 107 - pray for the different types of people described)
  • For believers (Ephesians 1:17-19; Ephesians 3:14-19; Colossians 1:9-14; 1 Thessalonians 3:12-13; 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12; 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17)
  • For revival use Isaiah's cry for revival (Isaiah 64:1-5)
  • For spiritual power use the apostles' cry for power (Acts 4:29-31)
  • Tools for Mentoring Prayer section has more Bible prayers to pray.

Adopt a missionary or a country as a small group to pray for. Ask your pastor for recent newsletters. Get prayer ideas for unreached peoples at http://www.global-prayer-digest.org. Check out other sites.

Take a newspaper from that day or week. Have the small group go through it and find issues and people to pray for. Then, pray for these people and current events.

Take one staff member or leader of your group/church each week and pray for them and their ministry.

Keep a prayer journal for the small group. Record requests and answers. Pray, review, and report back each week.

For each answered prayer place a rock in a glass jar. As it fills up over the school year, it serves as a visual reminder of God's power and faithfulness.

Use the ACTS model. Either cover all four aspects or emphasize one per meeting. Pick Scriptures and songs that reflect each.

  • Adoration (say or sing worship to God) ,
  • Confession (acknowledge and repent publicly or privately of sins),
  • Thanksgiving,
  • Supplication (make earnest requests of God).

Divide the Lord's Prayer (Matt. 6:9-13) into portions to focus on different ways to pray. The Tools for Mentoring Prayer section on the Lord's Prayer has the study already prepared

Study parts of Tools for Mentoring Prayer section over several meetings to guide prayer.

Follow the PRAY model as a group and encourage individuals to do it alone:

  • P = Praise: Tell God you love Him and thank Him. Psalm 69:30 I will praise God's name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving.
  • R = Repent: Confess any sin. Acts 3:19-20 Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.
  • A = Ask: Ask God to help you and others. 1 John 5:14 This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.
  • Y = Yield: Pause and listen to God's word. Psalm 130:5 I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope.

Choose a missionary that has come from your campus ministry or church. Pray through the issues in the missionary's newsletter.

Read a chapter each week from Intercessory Prayer by Dutch Sheets and then practice what you learned.

Read some of the inspiring stories of answered prayer in Red Moon Rising by Greig/Roberts and then prayer with increased faith in God.

Put newsprint on the walls and give people colored markers. Ask them to write prayers for 30-60 minutes. Ideas: missionary needs (Have newsletters and pictures posted.); ways you want God to move in your campus ministry or church; those yet to believe; deeper surrender to Christ among Christians; school/work concerns.

Take 5 minutes by themselves asking God what is on His heart that He wants the group to pray for. Come back together and write on a dry erase board what God impressed on them. Split up the prayers among the group members and take turns praying them.

Show how to pray “conversationally” in a group. Imagine the group sitting at the table talking with Jesus about a concern. Rather than one person telling Jesus every part of the need while everyone else is left out of the conversation, several people can each tell Jesus different aspects of the need.

  • For example, Cindy's dad has had a serious accident. Some of the nurses are not caring for the leg properly, the doctor is inattentive, the company is threatening to withhold finances, etc. One person prays for each aspect of the situation. In addition, listen to what else God might want prayed: healing, peace and clear-headedness, reliance on God. Each person limit him/herself to praying for just one aspect of the need. Then, you are working together as a team.
  • When all aspects are covered, move to the next need.

Play a CD of worship music and soak in God's presence.

Get in triads - groups of 3 - and hand each group a copy of the list of needs of Scriptures to form into prayers.

Sing “Open the Eyes of My Heart, Lord” and in place of “my,” insert the name of someone yet to believe. Sing it for each friend. You are singing a prayer for revelation of God in their lives.

Korean prayer: the whole group prays out loud together their individual prayers about a certain subject. The leader signals with “Ready, Go!” or a bell. After 2 minutes, the leader signals with a bell and then moves the prayer to the next subject.

From John and Nancy Engels, Jenny Egge McJunkins, Joy Schroeder

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