Lesson from Sunday, February 21st, 2010
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Reflect on some N.T. experiences of early Christians in group prayer.
- Peter went to the house of Mary where many were gathered for prayer. Acts12:12
- “They all joined together constantly in prayer“. Acts 1:13-14
Reflect on your personal experience of praying aloud in a group.
___Almost never? ___Occasionally? ___Often?
Does prayer seem more meaningful for you when you pray silently or pray aloud?
What is the value of several Christians praying for something as opposed to just one? Matt.18:19-20.
In a group setting have you ever spontaneously broken into an unplanned group prayer over a current issue or crisis that arises?
Rank these statements from good to bad (1 – 12) as characteristics of Conversational Prayer:
- Group members talking to God the same way they would talk to a friend in the room with them.
- Two or more people engaged in a shared dialogue with God.
- An opportunity to share your testimony with others.
- A way of praying that invites everyone to participate.
- Each person should cover all of the topics of concern in his or her prayer.
- Everyone is free to pray or not to pray as the Spirit leads.
- Pray using everyday conversational language.
- Since God is our Creator, try to pray like you are presenting a speech before a dignitary.
- Pray right around the circle to avoid periods of silence.
- Communicating with God in short sentence prayers expressing thoughts in as few as six words.
- Praying on one topic at a time, with several praying about the same thing, then move to another topic.
- It is a time to tell God what to do, combined with thinly veiled hints on how others should act.
Some ways of leading Conversational Prayer:
- Leader introduces topics one request at a time and when finished introduces another request.
- Group members share specifics requests, one at a time.
- Pray through Scripture, using one or more passages of Scripture as a prayer guide.
- Use the “ACTS” acrostic – Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication.
- Use the “Pray” acrostic – Praise, Repent, Ask for someone else, Your own needs.
- Pray for the fulfillment of the Great Commission.
- Build people up in Christ in prayer.
- Send people out for Christ through prayer.
- Use Hymns as a prayer guide.
- Use the attributes of God.
Experiencing Conversational Prayer in our Group
- Sharing the journey of prayer with a trusted friend.
- Agreeing to support each other and pray together for personal concerns, for others needs and for world-wide needs.
- Engaging in regular and consistent time of shared intercession.
Questions for Reflection.
- Do you feel you do your best praying alone or with another person?
- In which case is it easier for you to concentrate on the serious business of prayer?
- Have you ever had a prayer partner in the past?
- Do you currently have a prayer partner?
Some steps in developing prayer partners.
- Have you learned to pray aloud and are you comfortable in doing so?
- Pray for the right prayer partner for you. Church friends, work associates, family members Think of people you trust who may have similar concerns, family issues, work or school connections, missionary interests.
- Listen to God for the answer.
- Approach them about becoming a prayer partner for 6 weeks.
- Decide on the best pattern or time to meet together regularly to share prayer requests and pray. (More than a chat session with a brief prayer at the end).
- Make time for thanksgiving for answered prayer.
- Agree to pray at certain times of the day even though you are not together.
- Consider having prayer time together over the phone.
- When appropriate, be creative in using other communication methods such as texting, E-mail, face book, etc.
- Experiment with the various types of prayer disciplines we have discussed in this Discovery Class.
Praying with a partner in our group.
A concluding thought.
Whether praying alone, with a partner or in a group, make sure that you and the Church have good methods and resources of receiving and communicating the most up-to-date requests and specific needs for your prayer times. For example, when is the last time you prayed specifically for the Missionaries of Riverside Covenant Church and did you have good and current information for your prayers? How did you use the resources available?