It is Tuesday evening, your small group has gathered, you have had some supper, opened up about what is happening in your lives, read and discussed God’s word and now it is 9:25 you have 5 minutes left to pray together before your 9:30pm finish time……. what do you do? “David would you close in prayer for us…….”
David prays a two-minute prayer and you all go your separate ways. This may be ok if it happens on the rare occasion in your small group gathering but if this pattern is the ‘norm’ may I suggest you are missing out on a depth or relationship with one another which comes through giving prayer a ‘higher’ priority.
Sometimes groups can get stuck in a rut when it comes to praying together, my prayer is that these creative ideas may help you and your group.
- Plan your group time well and always allocate time for prayer, also ask different people in your group to come with a plan or activity to lead the prayer time. This will make sure you allow time for them to share what they have prepared.
- Make prayer the first thing you do together instead of the last (or mix it up).
- Pray for your city or local community – Take a current city/local newspaper, give group members a couple of pages each and five minutes to find something to pray for. Then each person prays for what they chose from their page. Make sure you don’t use up the time with people sharing what they chose, it is better to move straight into prayer.
- Taper candles can be lit and placed in sand buckets by group members, prayer can be on a specific topic or prayers can be said in silence. Add symbols, pictures and quiet music to create a different atmosphere for your prayer time.
- Split the group into a smaller sub groups, and then pray for one another. Sometimes quieter members feel more comfortable praying in a smaller group.
- Try asking specific questions like, “What do you sense God wanting to do through you in the coming weeks?” or “How would you like God to work through you this week?” Or ‘This week ground rule; you can only pray for a personal concern tonight. Nothing for your sister’s husband’s co-worker’s daughter’.
- Prepare some large cards with words on them – such as ‘gratitude’ ‘grace’ ‘forgiveness (or the fruits of the spirit) place them where people can see them and then use these words as your prayer focus. Use one, two or multiple words or words which connect with the topic/passage the group has been studying.
- Listen to a piece of instrumental music, as each person listens ask them to write a prayer of worship or thanks to God, when the music has finished invite anyone who wishes to, to share their prayer.