The power of a prayer group - a biblical example
One of the most striking examples of how God answers the prayers of people praying in a group can be found in Acts 12
. James (brother of John) has already been executed by Herod, and on seeing how popular this has proved to be with the Jews, Herod has had Peter thrown into jail to await a public trial. However, "the church was earnestly praying to God for him"
. (v.5, NIV) Aided by an angelic visitation, miraculously Peter escapes from prison. He then went "to the house of Mary the mother of John, also called Mark, where many people had gathered and were praying"
(v.12) This kind of dramatic answer to group prayer reflects the teaching of Christ on prayer. Jesus promises that when two come together
in agreement to ask for something from God "it will be done for them by my Father in heaven." Matthew 18:19 (NIV)
(This scripture is explored in greater detail here
.) Note that you don't have to be an especially large group to be effective in prayer - two is enough!
Why start a prayer group?
• Prayer groups provide a framework for commitment. If they are held on a regular basis (e.g. weekly or monthly etc) then it's possible to review areas where you have seen answers to prayer, and persist in the areas that are still awaiting the outcome you are looking for.
This approach to prayer is far better than just a one-off prayer event or meeting.
• Prayer groups can also provide a place for mutual support. For example, it might be that you want to start a prayer group for single mums - this creates a space for mums to share some of the challenges they are facing with a group that will understand and be eager to pray about these difficulties.
This is a prayer meeting for just three people. Often they are single-sex (e.g. all male or all female.) It is a place for mutual prayer support, sharing and vulnerability. It is also a place of outreach - each person prays for three of their friends to find faith in God, and each person in the triplet prays for these friends. So in total nine people are being prayed for by the group.
A short creative prayer suitable for opening a prayer meeting with:-