“Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.” James 5:16
Prayer is a powerful way to unite people and strengthen our church body. In fact, we’re commanded in Scripture to “pray for one another” (James 5:16).
To be honest, I’ve been guilty of making prayer the way to close out the small group. If we aren’t careful, it can become a redundant routine instead of a powerful moment. Isn’t that that how James describes prayer? Powerful and effective!
Don’t let prayer be an after thought or a way to end the small group. Let prayer be a vital part of the group. Here are a couple of ideas to help get you going.
1. Let people share meaningful prayer requests.
You know God is doing something special in your group when people start to share deep meaningful prayer requests. It’s a sign that trust has been built and there’s a feeling of openness and safety.
Sure. It might make you a little uncomfortable to hear that someone is struggling with pornography or on the verge of divorce, but these are very real issues that need to be taken to God TOGETHER in prayer!
2. Pray individually for each request and not collectively for all requests.
Okay, I’m guilty. Maybe because your pressed for time you want to quickly wrap up the group so you throw up a quick, generic, “be with all these request,” kind of prayer.
Here’s the thing.
People need to hear others praying for them. Don’t just say you’ll pray for them. Take time during each group meeting to pause and pray for each request individually.
3. Ask different people to pray for each request.
You may think calling on someone to pray may put them on the spot, so you it’s just easier to pray yourself. However, every time I hear someone else pray, I’m blessed by their heart and words.
If you aren’t sure if someone is willing to pray out loud in group, simply ask them before hand. Seriously! God does something supernatural in our hearts when we pray together.
4. Find creative ways to pray for our church as a whole.
Don’t forget to pray for our church as a whole. Pray for other small groups, our church pastor’s and staff, volunteers, lost people on our community, missionaries we support, families in our church, etc.
Pick a specific prayer need in our church each week and focus on that.
5. Send out a prayer text/email to your group during the week.
Prayer doesn’t have to end when the small group is over. Text or email a list of prayer request to your group during the week. Give updates on how God is answering those prayers and encourage one another in doing so.