How to Pursue Better Prayer in Groups

by Oct 30, 2019

How to Pursue Better Prayer in Groups

by Oct 30, 2019

On Sunday we saw in Nehemiah 2 how our pursuit of God will lead us to passionate prayer for God’s people. At Harbor we’re always seeking to grow in our prayerfulness, particularly when we’re together in community.

Want to have better times of prayer in your family, community group, or ministry team? A recent book called Old Paths, New Power by Daniel Henderson offers some super practical ways to pursue more meaningful prayer in community:

1. Foundation 

Begin corporate prayer times (and personal times as well) with an open Bible. This serves as the foundation for prayer. Pastor John Piper notes, “I have seen that those whose prayers are most saturated with Scripture are generally most fervent and most effective in prayer. And where the mind isn’t brimming with the Bible, the heart is not generally brimming with prayer.”

2. Fervor 

Fervor is the element of Spirit-led prayer apart from which prayer is impossible. While we know this, we cannot forget the vital, practical role of the Spirit in our united prayers. It is imperative to engage in an intentional focus and reliance upon the Holy Spirit at the outset of every prayer experience.

3. Focus
After we establish this Scripture-fed, Spirit-led, worship-based prayer, we must lead with a biblical and balanced focus. Jesus gave the clear pattern in what has been called the Lord’s Prayer. fundamentally, there are two parts to the prayer. The first half is entirely Godward (or upward). The second half is manward (or downward). I like to capture this two-part rhythm with this descriptor: “He is worthy. We are needy.”

5. Flow 

The real challenge in leading a prayer time is to facilitate the participation of the people so that all things are done for edification. To guide a flow of prayer that reflects continuity, agreement, unity, and blessing I follow what I call “the ABCs of prayer.” Audible. This seems so elementary, but participants must be reminded to pray loudly enough that others can hear. Brief. Long, protracted, scattered prayers have a way of sucking the life out of a prayer time. Clear. Guiding participants to pray clearly, about one thing at a time, encourages greater agreement and focus.

6. Freedom (to Move and Change Position) 

Too many times we lead prayer experiences where participants sit comfortably in a padded chair or pew, with head bowed and eyes closed. This posture can be a surefire recipe for drifting minds and sleeping bodies. It is helpful to give permission (even encouragement) to participants to stand, walk, kneel, or even lay prostrate.

7. Flexibility 

Over the years, with the Lord’s help, I have created thousands of Scripture-fed prayer guides that were utilized in corporate prayer gatherings. However, we know that while the Spirit can direct ahead of time He also prompts the unanticipated focus in the moment.

8. Faithfulness
Leading in prayer is a lifelong calling, not a short-term fix or the theme of the month. We must embrace a mindset of leading for the long haul. I tell leaders everywhere I go that they need to develop a dream of dying on their knees. My dream, and I hope yours as well, is to seek spiritual intimacy at a personal level and lead God’s people humbly into His presence until my concluding day. Like Paul, let us finish the course!