Recently at a YOU Lead women’s leadership training, we had a panel answering questions submitted by attendees. Several past and upcoming posts address those and try to help answer them. This is the first in a series of 5 posts on this subject. Be sure to scroll down below this post to read parts 1-3 first!
Today’s question is: What does the “prayer group” look like in your church? How many are in the group. How often do they meet? What is the structure of a prayer meeting?
Here is a possible format to use as you begin your prayer groups, but keep this flexible and ask God how He wants you to direct this time so that it doesn’t become stale and ineffective:
o Talking (5-10 minutes)-catching up with each other and greeting new attendees
o Getting focused (5-10 minutes)-leading women to begin quieting down by reading Scripture praising God in song, sharing testimony of answered prayer, having them conduct a heart evaluation
o Praising God and confession (10-15 minutes)
o Petition and intercession (10-15 minutes)
o Responding to God after prayer time (10-15 minutes) Talk about what the group sensed, ask: How should we respond? And follow up if Holy Spirit laid a burden on someone’s heart?
Other helpful guidelines for your prayer time include these:
· If you have received an insight, immediately voice it as sometimes the Holy Spirit uses one or more minds to bring understanding and reveal His will.
· If someone is burdened during your prayer time with the spirit of prayer of supplication for someone, allow the person to pour out heart to God.
· Should someone expresses a personal burden, surround that person and encourage her by praying immediately.
· If someone is broken by the awareness of sin, allow her to pray unless names are being used and it’s not appropriate, then gently stop the prayer.
· If someone receives assurance, peace or confirmation, praise God!
In sharing prayer requests, these questions will help guide the women…have them ask: Is it true? Is it confidential? Is it kind? Is it necessary? This will help direct your prayer time and keep it from turning into a gossip session!
Watch for upcoming blog posts in the prayer series. Next time we will conclude this post with some ideas of other ways to encourage women to pray.
Some great prayer resources:
Transformed Lives: Taking women’s Ministry to the Next Level, compiled by Chris Adams (Some of the information above was taken from this resource)
He Speaks to Me, Priscilla Shirer
Discerning God’s Voice, Priscilla Shirer
Oh, God, Please, Leighann McCoy
Whispers of Hope, Beth Moore
Lord, Teach Me to Pray, Kay Arthur
Disciples PrayerLife, Hunt & Walker
Various Studies on Prayer by Jennifer Kennedy Dean
In God’s Presence, T. W. Hunt
The Prayer of Jesus, Ken Hemphill
Follow Me: Lessons for Becoming a Prayerwalker, Randy Sprinkle