If you have ever been part of a small group whether it is Bible study or Sunday School, then you’ve been through the typical church prayer time. I can’t speak for you, but I have found it, well, disappointing. Can I say that?
You may wonder why I feel this way. It’s because I have a growing disdain for praying for other’s prayer list. We do the same thing over and over in prayer meetings – we share the prayer needs of those on our prayer lists. I guess it is much easier to request prayer for someone other than ourselves unless we are sick, isn’t it? But what good does it do us individually to ask others to pray for our personal prayer list? Very little.
[tweetthis]Let the body of #Christ get real with each other and #pray for one another. @TheGinaDuke #Church[/tweetthis]
James 5:16 says, “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed…”, but who is doing this? The sad truth is that even though we may be in a small group of believers, we often will not share our own struggles nor ask others to pray for us.
To tell the truth, once an established small group develops the common practice of praying over each other’s prayer lists instead of each other, it is hard to correct. It would take the leader bringing awareness to the matter, introducing new ground rules and holding the group accountable during prayer time. Although, this sounds easy enough, it’s highly unlikely that many Sunday School teachers or small group leaders will do this. Few people like change, and even less like to lead it.
This is why you may want to consider getting a prayer partner – someone you can depend upon to specifically pray for you. When establishing your prayer partnership, here are the choices you will need to make:
- Choosing a Christian of the same sex that you feel comfortable sharing intimate details with. They must also be very trustworthy and looking for the same type of prayer partnership.
- Choosing a place and time that is agreeable for the two of you to meet on a regular basis. If you have very difficult schedules, there is no reason why you cannot do this by phone.
- Choosing your format for your time together. Will you share scripture? Will you start with sharing a praise and then prayer needs? Will you pray over everything at once or will you pray in separate stages of your meeting time?
- Choosing a method for keeping up with prayer needs and God’s accomplishment. Few of us are good at remembering to pray for other’s needs, so journaling your prayer journey together will not only be a great help, but enjoyable, too.
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Award-winning author Gina Duke is a wife, mom and the Director of Women’s Ministry at her local church. With a B.S. in Organizational Leadership, she is able to bring a clear word for authentic Christian living. Through her book, “Organizing Your Prayer Closet: A New and Life-Changing Way to Pray” (Abingdon Press), she imparts 1 Peter 4:7 with the gift of structured prayer journaling. If you would like to schedule Gina to speak on prayer or host a prayer journaling workshop, click here for more information. You may also follow her on Twitter and Instagram @TheGinaDuke.
Check out my video for Organizing Your Prayer Closet!
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