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Windy City Stories by Dave & Neta Jackson


Starting a Prayer Group


Is God tugging at your heart to start a prayer group? But you feel totally inadequate? God will give you wisdom, sister! (Read James 1:5 and ask!) There is no one-size-fits-all formula for putting together a prayer group, but here are a few things to consider:

Prepare yourself . . .

  • First of all, bring your desire to God and pray about it! (Funny how often we skip this step.)
  • Ask another sister to pray with you. “If two of you agree . . . about anything, it will be done for them” (Matthew 18:19)
  • Read The Power of Praying Together by Stormie Omartian (Harvest House). This sister knows what she’s talking about!

Then . . .

  • Share with your pastor what you want to do. Choose a time for your prayer group to meet that does not conflict with other church meetings or responsibilities.
  • Who needs it? A prayer group for women in your church is perfectly legitimate. (Many “church” women are lonely or alone.) OR maybe God is calling you to reach beyond your circle of friends—to neighbors, co-workers, another parent at your child’s school, across cultural or racial boundaries. This takes prayer and intentionality.
  • Personally invite other sisters to join you. If two of you are in agreement about starting a prayer group, each of you could invite one more. That’s four. Then those four each invite one. That’s eight. A good beginning!
  • Meet in your home—or ask another sister to host. Or share hosting among all the members of the prayer group. Meeting in homes helps create a circle of intimacy. Also, women who are not members of your church may feel more comfortable coming to a home meeting. (But if God directs you to meet at the office, at the park, at a coffee, at the jail, or at the church—you do it!)
  • Size? Don’t let the group get too big. Twelve is usually a maximum for a small group. Eight to ten is a good number. (If lots of women want to become a part, you may need to divide into two groups! What a wonderful “problem” to have.)
  • Leaders: Be sure one or two of the sisters who are well grounded in the Word of God are willing to function as leaders/facilitators.

The meeting itself . . .

  • Fellowship. Allow at least fifteen minutes for women to arrive, get snacks or drinks, and “unwind.”
  • Begin with worship—a Scripture, a song, prayers of praise—to get your focus where it needs to be, on God alone.
  • Study the Word. Spend time in the Word. This can be either a Bible study using a study guide, a book study from the Bible itself (e.g., the gospel of John, the book of James etc.), or a short devotion from the Word taught by someone in the group. But you will need someone to facilitate so you do leave time to . . .
  • PRAY! Share brief prayer requests. This is not the time for lengthy sharings or giving advice. Don’t just talk about what needs prayer. Pray for one another!
  • Respect! Agree together that personal things shared in the group are to remain in the group—not fodder for gossip. (However, if things come up that are too big to handle in the group, the leaders may need to seek outside counsel.)

Last but not least . . .

  • Pray during the week for the women who attend the group. Call to check on anyone who is missing, and pray for them over the phone.
  • Be expectant that God can do great things in you and through you as you pray.

© 2013, Dave & Neta JacksonCastle Rock Creative