How to Pray at Home Group

One of the essential elements of our Home Group Bible studies is prayer.  Each week we begin by sharing prayer requests and then praying together.  To get the most benefit from this group prayer time, consider the following suggestions:

First, keep your prayer requests close to home.  That is, only request prayer for yourself or someone close to you.  Of course we need to pray for wider issues such as the "pandemic" and the contested election, but if we mention every concern around the world that we can think of, we'll be praying all night long!  As a general principle, limit your requests to concerns that are heavy on your heart.  Remember, there are some things that you can pray for on your own without sharing them with the group.  

Second, get real.  The prayer time is an opportunity for you to open up to the group about what's really going on in your heart.  Share your worries, your struggles, your problems that keep you up at night, and your goals.  This kind of transparency is scary, because it means making yourself vulnerable.  But this is what can make Home Group a truly rich and meaningful experience.  Are you struggling with an addiction?  Share it.  Are you struggling to lose weight?  Share it.  Are you struggling with discouragement or insecurity?  Share it.  Are you worried about your finances?  Share it.  Are you working on something important?  Share it.  Are you hoping something will work out in your favor?  Share it.  Then the group can pray with you and encourage you.

Third, make your prayers brief.  At our Home Group we practice "popcorn prayer," a term I learned from my pastor when I was in high school.  The idea is to pray for one or two requests at a time, and then let others have a turn; then, if time permits, you can pray for one or two more requests.  This "popcorn prayer" can go on, back and forth, until everyone has had plenty of time to pray.  

Fourth, write down prayer requests as they are shared.  That way you can remember what to pray for.  As well, you can continue to pray for the requests during the week.  And when you come back the following week, you can ask for updates to see how God is working.  

Fifth, don't try to impress people.  Corporate (group) prayer is never about impressing people; it is about imploring God to move on our behalf.  Simply talk to God as if He were sitting in the room with us.  You don't need any special words.  It is not a speech.  Just like a little child, simply tell your Heavenly Father what you need.  

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