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Pray as a small group

Ideas for prayer meetings

6 Min Read

Praying with others has power.

“When two of you get together on anything at all on earth and make a prayer of it, my Father in heaven goes into action. And when two or three of you are together because of me, you can be sure that I’ll be there.”

Matthew 18:19-20

Sometimes, church prayer meetings can feel boring or difficult. Here are some top tips to help your prayer meetings thrive: 

1. Pray before you pray

It might sound obvious, but prayer is the best way to prepare. Pray for wisdom as you plan your time together, and for the members of your church community to join in.

2. Share why you’re praying

Explain what you’re praying about, why it’s important and how you want God to impact the situation. Share a testimony or Bible passage to inspire faith. Try interviewing someone involved, or use photos and videos to inform your prayers.

3. Lead prayer in short sections

Most people find long periods of prayer challenging. Split the time into bite-sized sections to help everyone focus. If you’re praying for an hour why not dedicate the first and last five minutes to welcome and wrap up, and then plan five 10-minute sections to pray through the issues you’re bringing to God.

4. Try different ways to pray

Everyone connects with God differently. Use a variety of prayer styles to ensure that everyone in your meeting can pray in a familiar way, as well as in new ways too!

Here are some of our favourite ideas:

Worship

Plan musical worship for your meeting to welcome the Holy Spirit, and to remind everyone of the greatness of god. Weaving worship throughout your time of prayer is a great way to refocus and inspire faith.

Involve experts

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 teacher to share their experience.

Try A, B, C

Split your group into threes, and allocate each person the letters ‘a’, ‘b’ or ‘c’. Share a prayer point for each letter and encourage the trios to pray together. This idea can help those who might feel nervous praying in a larger group.

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, at the same time.

50/50

Split your group in half, asking one half to pray for an issue and the other half to worship. Swap over. The volume of sung worship can help people build confidence in praying out loud.

Zones

If you’re gathering in-person to pray, split the room into different areas focused on different topics. Encourage everyone to move around the room and pray for each issue.

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 is God’s throne. Invite each person to approach, one at a time, to kneel and pray.

Use liturgy

Many groups find it helpful to go through written prayers together. You can find a variety of liturgy online, and we’ve got some 24-7 Prayer liturgy too (coming soon!).

5. Make time for listening

As well as speaking to God, make space to hear from God during your prayer time.

Here are a few specific ideas for listening in your prayer meetings:

Share how God speaks

Provide some context and teaching for your group. Sharing a personal example is a great way to start.

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.

Meditate on a Bible passage

Read a passage multiple times, and ask people to share and pray about something that God highlighted to them.

Share together

Invite people to share what they have heard from God. Record what each person shares, and highlight any themes that emerge.

Pray for the things you feel God is saying

Split into groups and pray for the themes, words, pictures or Bible passages shared.

6. Finish well

End by giving thanks to God for your time together. Summarise the themes of your prayer time, and what God has said. Share when you will be praying again.

How to run a non-boring prayer meeting

Check out our guide from the Prayer Course Toolshed

Inspired by what you have read?