Ideas for Prayer Meetings
Praying with others has power. As you gather your church community to pray together, try some of these simple ideas to engage and motivate others:
Start by Praying
It might sound obvious, but prayer is the best way to prepare. Pray for wisdom as you plan your time together; for the members of your church community who will be there. Pray for the Holy Spirit to lead you.
Know why you’ve gathered to Pray
If you’re meeting together to pray for your local community or praying for a specific moment in your Church calendar, make this the starting point of your meeting so that everyone knows what to pray for. You could start by sharing a specific story or Bible passage, or using photos and videos to inform the mind and inspire the heart. If you have a large theme, such as community transformation, split the meeting into sections to pray for.
" I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people; for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness..."
- 1 Timothy 2:1-2
Use Different Models of Prayer
Everyone engages with God differently. Use a variety of styles to ensure that everyone in your meeting is able to pray in a way that suits them:
Short Sections: Most people find long periods of prayer challenging, so split into shorter periods with different topics and styles.
Worship: Plan musical worship for your meeting as a way to welcome the Holy Spirit, and as reminder of how big and great God is. Weaving worship throughout your time of prayer is a great way to refocus.
Involve Others: If you’re leading prayer on a particular issue, involve people with knowledge and experience in that area. For example, if you’re praying for education in your community, invite a Christian teacher to come and share their experience.
The A,B,C Model: Split into threes, and allocate letters ‘A’, ‘B’ or ‘C’. Allocate a prayer point per letter, and then encourage groups to pray at once. This is a great way to ensure that different areas of a topic are prayed for.
Pray out Loud: The early church raised their voices together in prayer. Even if it feels uncomfortable, challenge your group to pray out loud together in passionate, personal prayer.
50/50: Split your group in half, asking one half to pray for an issue and the other half to worship. Swap over. This could help your group to build confidence in praying out loud.
Zones: Split the room up into different topics. Encourage your group to move around the room and pray for different issues.
Get creative: Use the 5 senses; give people something to hold, taste, watch, listen or do as you pray through a topic.
Petitioning the King: Place a chair at the front of your space and encourage your group to imagine the chair as a throne to approach God with. Allow time for each member to come, one at a time, to kneel and pray.
Use Liturgy: Many groups find it helpful to go through ancient written prayers together. You can find liturgy online to use in your meetings.
Make time for listening
As well as using voices to pray to God, make space to hear from God during your prayer time. When God speaks, it’s always affirming and matches what He is like in the Bible. When listening to God during a group meeting, different people often receive the same word or theme.
Share how God speaks: This is especially helpful if your group don’t feel confident in listening. Explain how God speaks through the Bible, our thoughts, through pictures. It might be useful if you, or someone else, can share a time that you have heard from God.
Invite the Holy Spirit to Speak: This is a really practical way to start your listening time. Give space for silence and a set time for people to hear from God.
Share together: Invite the members of your group to share anything they heard, felt or saw. If you have a larger group you could split into smaller groups first. Record what each person shares and highlight any themes emerging.
Pray for the things you feel God is saying: Split into groups and pray for the themes, words, pictures or Bible passages shared. It’s often helpful to finish with a time of musical worship or thanksgiving.
"Rejoice always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus."
- 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Finish your meeting by concluding together and giving thanks to God for the time. Ensure that everyone has had enough time to pray for your topic and theme and that anyone who has heard from God has had an opportunity to share. Arrange to meet and pray together in the future; perhaps using different topics or prayer models.