Prayer is a vital part of every Small Group gathering. It is also a part that can sometimes become routine, especially if your group prays the same way every time. Here are 4 creative ways you can pray together this spring:
#1 Go for a Prayer Walk in your neighborhood(s)
In addition to praying for those right in your neighborhood, you’ll reap some other benefits, such as getting exercise, fresh air, and beautiful scenery. A prayer walk offers a nice change of scenery from the usual room where your group usually gathers and prays, and is a great opportunity to pray for specific people (your neighbors) to come to know Christ. During your prayer walks, you can pray for specific opportunities to see and meet a need in their lives; for open doors and open hearts! A prayer walk can also be used to spread some encouragement (such as crafting stones with Scriptures on them, or simple words such as peace, love, joy, hope, faith, and leaving them by mailboxes as you walk and pray). Prayer walks can also turn into an outreach opportunity by sharing with people you pass by that you are praying for them, asking if there is anything specific you can pray for them. You could also extend invitations to join you at church or your small group one night.
#2 Community Prayer
Challenge your small group members to find out what is happening within their local communities – what trials are people facing, what are the needs of the people around you? Ask that each group member come to your group with at least one prayer/need. Compile a group list of these prayers and needs. That list will be the focus of your group’s prayer time. Ask for the Spirit’s help in identifying how God might want to use your group to love, encourage, and meet the needs of those around you. Create a follow-up plan, as the Spirit leads.
#3 Bonfire Prayers
Why not gather your group together this spring, taking advantage of the warmer weather and beauty of the stars at night? Have a bonfire and gather your group around the warmth and light. Pass around small scraps of paper and pens. Ask each group member to write down ONE THING that is weighing heavily on their hearts — it could be a person they are worried about, a circumstance, a struggle, or a heartache. God likes when we pray specifically! Invite each group member to share their ONE thing with their group, then toss what they wrote down into the bonfire, saying, “I surrender this to you, Lord.” Then, invite the rest of your group to pray specifically for that person (in regards to that one thing they surrendered). Continue until everyone in the group has “surrendered” their one thing into the fire, and been prayed for by the group. Wrap up your prayer time by singing “I Surrender” (or any other song of your choice) together around the fire.
#4 Praise Only Prayers
This spring, come up with a creative way to collect praises and answered prayers and each week. At the end of spring, just before summer break – have a “praise only” prayer time where your group will gather to celebrate and praise God for all the wonderful things He has done! Below are some creative ways to collect praises and answered prayers:
Keep a Praise Jar with strips of paper (or for a spring theme, use fake flowers and attach label around stem with praise/answered prayer).
Praise Table Runner: If we are honest, most of our groups involve food — so why not get a white table runner and invite each member to write their praises on the runner each week (use fabric pens). Then, at the end of spring, celebrate together around the table, with all the answered prayers and praises visible right in front of you!
Create a Praise Poster using a large white roll of paper and/or poster paper. Be creative – use words, verses, pictures, stickers to record your praises and answered prayers. This could be a keepsake – put into a frame for the group leaders to keep – a reminder of God’s goodness and faithfulness!
Start a Praise Photo Album. This another easy way to collect praise and answered prayers each week, and to reflect back on all of them! Purchase a small photo album to use. Each week, give each person a blank index card and ask they record their praises, and insert into the photo album. Be specific, and include dates, etc…. When the photo album has been filled, spend time passing the photo album around and thanking God for each card of praise. This is another keepsake to hold on to!
Prayer is such an important part of your small group time. There are many different ways a group can pray together, and changing it up will keep prayer from becoming stale. Prayer can also lead to additional opportunities such as ministry, evangelism, and worship. Have fun giving these a try, and watch and see how God revitalizes your group’s prayer time!