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10 Ways to Ignite Praying in a Small Group

praying in a small group

Praying in a small group can be intimidating for those who haven’t done it before. You’d be surprised how many people are not used to praying out loud with other people around them listening in. This is an essential spiritual practice for all believers to develop because agreement in prayer among two or more believers sparks the outworking of God’s will on earth as it is in heaven and strengthens the community of His Church (Matthew 18:18-20).

10 Ways to Ignite Praying in a Small Group

As the small group leader, you can ignite a passion for prayer in your group by engaging in these practices:

1. Be brief.

Brevity can reduce the anxiety level in group prayer because it allows time for others to pray and serves as a model for simplicity in prayer (Matthew 5:7-13). People who aren’t used to praying aloud in a group will see short and simple as something they can do too.

2. Be informal.

Don’t have a big build-up. When it’s time to pray, just begin. For example, “Okay everyone, let’s pray. Feel free to jump in if you’d like. Lord, we…” This makes prayer feel less intimidating and more natural.

3. Be yourself.

Imagine God sitting across from you in your group and talk with Him like you would a good friend; after-all, He is in your midst and wants each one to share honestly from the heart. Have a conversational flow to what you share with the Lord and avoid Christian clichés or complex theological jargon.

4. Use Scripture.

Invite people to articulate their prayer with biblical passages. They can read something that is meaningful to them and then say, “I believe that about…” or “Let that be true for…” and reference their own prayer need or one that was shared by another small group member.

5. Go first.

If you’re going to ask people to share personal prayer requests, be the first to go and be unguarded and candid. This will prime the pump for others to share and sets an example of vulnerability that will be contagious.

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Reid serves as the Director of Communities of Purpose for the Small Group Network and has been a Pastor of Groups at Christ Fellowship Church in Palm Beach County, FL since 2008. He has been equipping leaders in churches of all sizes and stages of growth for effective disciple-making since 1996. Reid has been a contributing author for Christianity Today’s smallgroups.com, LifeWay’s Ministry Grid, and he developed small group training for the North American Mission Board’s Send Network. One of the ways he expresses his love for helping leaders start and multiply healthy groups throughout their churches is through www.reidsmith.org.