lords prayer words - traditional and contemporary prayers

Prayer Groups


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.



Prayer Triplets

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.


An Opening Prayer

A short creative prayer suitable for opening a prayer meeting with:-



make a prayer request
post your prayers here


Prayer is where the action is

John Wesley


Prayer Group communication tips

Telephone
A good way of keeping everyone up to date with an urgent prayer request is by creating a prayer chain. To develop a telephone prayer chain, every person has one person they will contact e.g. person (A) contacts person (B), (B) contacts (C), (C) contacts (D) and so on. Eventually the last person in the chain contacts (A) to confirm that everyone has been contacted in the chain.

tickAdvantages
This is good if the request is urgent as people tend to monitor their phones more than their emails.
crossDisadvantages
What happens if you get an answering machine? If they are away on holiday there may be a lengthy delay in communication.


Prayer Groups on the social media platforms
(For example, Facebook Groups or Online Forums)

tickAdvantages
Information and prayer updates can be quickly shared and exchanged.
crossDisadvantages
Keep a careful watch on what information you share - remember this may be publicly accessible.
Creating a Facebook Group page will only work well if all your members are already part of Facebook and/or comfortable with using this type of technology.


Group emailing
(With email programs such as Microsoft's "Outlook" it's possible to create distribution lists for sending emails to many people at once.)

tickAdvantages
An efficient way of communicating prayer requests to a lot of people at the same time.
crossDisadvantages
Can be a little slow, depending on how often people check their emails.
Also, be careful when forwarding an email on to somebody outside of the prayer group. When emails have been exchanged between people they create a "trail" which then gets forwarded with your message.