Is your church eager to start a small prayer group, but you're not sure where to begin? Here are some tips and resources to help you get started! These prayer groups can meet in your living room, front yard, church building, conference call, online, or just about anywhere else you wish. Resources marked with * are available to borrow from the United Media Resource Center.
Joys and Concerns Establish a regular time and method for your group to gather to share joys and concerns, including any concerns on your church's prayer list. One person can pray for all of the concerns raised, or each person can be asked to pray for the person on their left.
Upper Room Organize a small group of people who commit to reading and praying the daily Upper Room devotionals at home. Gather the group weekly using the small group plan in the back of each issue of the devotional guide.
Common Prayer Each member will need the book Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals and/or the Common Prayer app (look for it wherever you download apps for your device). The groups gathers on a regular basis to pray the day's liturgy for Morning and/or Evening Prayer, with members praying the liturgies at home between gatherings. When it is not safe to sing together, the app includes recordings of the songs to which members can listen. Music and lyrics are in the back of the book.
FAITH5 In this model, which is designed for intergenerational groups and works especially well for families with children, members of the group gather weekly to share highs and lows, read a Bible verse or story, talk about how the Bible reading might relate to each person's highs and lows, pray for one another, and bless one another. They then commit to participating in the same practice "every night in every home" - around the dinner table, or at bedtime, or in whatever way works for the household. Visit the Faith Inkubators website for more details.
Life-Shaping Prayer Start a weekly group using a book such as Paul W. Chilcote's *Life-Shaping Prayer: 52 Meditations in the Wesleyan Spirit, which is based around the following questions: 1) Who is God to me?; 2) What can I give to God?; 3) How does God shape my life?; 4) How do I live as a disciple of Christ? Each of the 52 meditations in this book includes a biblical text, a brief meditation, a Wesley hymn selection, and a prayer for the day.
*Listen: Praying in a Noisy World by Bishop Rueben P. Job (2014) 6 sessions This 40-day (six session) DVD study is a prayer journey that guides both individuals and groups in learning how to listen for, understand, and follow God's guidance and direction. Participants use the daily prayer guide (participant's guide) throughout the week and then gather once a week to watch a DVD segment, discuss and share what they are learning, and practice prayer together. The DVD segments (approx. 10 min. each) feature interview clips with a wide variety of people talking about their own experiences with prayer. Includes leader's guide and sample participant's guide.
*Prayer for People Who Can't Sit Still by William Tenny-Brittian (2005) 10 practices William Tenny-Brittian, himself diagnosed with adult ADHD, goes back to ancient times and into the techno-generation to share ten types of kinesthetic prayer that will help even the most fidgety connect with God. He has filled Prayer for People Who Can't Sit Still with ideas, easy-to-follow instructions, and ways to adapt kinesthetic prayer to most any situation and "personal limitation." A group could practice one or more of the ten practices during each group session. This kind of prayer practice works well for both adults and children.