God can do more when we pray than when we don't.
Notes to the small group facilitator: 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 of the praying. You can plan simple activities that facilitate people learning to pray as a group. (See the Tools for Mentoring Prayer Module excerpt "Praying with Others.")
Following are some good ideas for praying together.
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 dorms, campus, or your workplace. Pray for students, professors, and/or co-workers 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. (For stories and instruction see Prayer Evangelism by Ed Silvoso.)
Pray a Scripture passage. Personalize the prayers by inserting "I" or "me" where necessary, or the person's name for whom you are praying. The leader can pray the first one to show how.
Here's an example:
1 Thessalonians 3:13 May he [Dear Lord] strengthen your [my] hearts so that you [I] will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones.
Or you can take the main ideas from the above passage and form your own prayer like this: "Dear Lord, please strengthen my heart-level determination to do what is right. Give me your grace to make decisions that lead to holiness."
Choose a Scripture for the small group to use to pray for different needs:
More Scriptures to pray are in Tools for Mentoring Prayer Module section "Pray Some Prayers from the Bible"
Adopt a missionary or a country as a small group to pray for. Ask your pastor for recent newsletters to pray through. Tools for Mentoring Missions Module includes ready-to-use ideas for strategic prayer for missionaries and countries. Get prayer ideas for unreached people groups using Global Prayer Digest www.globalprayerdigest.org.
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 or two staff members or leaders of your campus group/church each week and pray for them and their ministry.
Keep a prayer journal for the small group. Record requests and answers. Each week pray, review your requests, and report back each week. One of the group members may want to update the prayer journal each week.
For each answered prayer place a stone in a glass jar. As it fills up over the school year, it serves as a visual reminder of God's power and faithfulness.
Divide the Lord's Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13) into portions to focus on different ways to pray. You could choose one each week for the group's prayer time. Tools for Mentoring Prayer Module section "Let's Pray" is a study already prepared.
Study sections of Tools for Mentoring Prayer Module over several meetings to learn how to hear God speaking to you, different ways to pray, the significance of your prayers, fasting, praying in a group, and more. Use the built-in responses to God.
Follow the P.R.A.Y. model often as a group and encourage individuals to use it alone. Take turns reading each way to P.R.A.Y. and the corresponding passage. Then ask for volunteers who would like to pray each part. The leader may consider praying the "Repent" portion to model transparency and confession in a supportive community.
Put large pieces of paper 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
Have group members take 5 minutes by themselves asking God what is on His heart that He wants the group to pray for. Ask them to write each item on a separate 3x5 notecard. Come back together and split up what God impressed on them among the group members. Take turns praying for 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.
Play some worship music and soak in God's presence.
Get in pairs or triads and share specific personal needs and pray for one another.
Get in pairs or triads and hand each group a list of needs and some 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.
Give individual members the opportunity to share specific prayer requests. Then ask for volunteers to pray for each need.
Hot seat prayer: Invite each group member (who wants to) to sit in the center of the group and have the group lay hands on the member/couple and pray for them. Listen for the Holy Spirit to give you some prayers He wants you to pray.
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