This is part three of a blog series I’m calling “Small Group Fireplaces.” In Part One, I stated that small groups can be the fireplace, or the environment, where revival and transformation can occur, but it’s not the fire, or even the match. In Part Two, I began describing how your group can become this kind of environment or fireplace, The first vital principles is prayer: Leaders pray for and with group members.
Today I want to share a few thoughts and ideas about group prayer. A fireplace with one log burning is warm and comfy, but if you want the fire to continue burning hot for a long time, you place more and more logs on the fire.
I give special attention to prayer in meetings. I remind participants that prayer is more than just asking God for things. It is communicating our feelings and thoughts to him. I try to steer the group away from sharing surface-level requests: Aunt Mary’s sick cat, the missionaries in Botswana, a friend of a cousin whose mother is having her appendix removed. Those may be legitimate things to pray for, but group prayer has a particular purpose, which should center on the group and its mission.
Keep your group prayer times creative. For instance, focus prayer times on specific needs or topics. Take a night and pray only for our families or friends at work, or spend an evening praising God for his grace or his power; use prayer times to confess sins to God and to one another (James 5:16).