What is a prayer group?
Whether we call it a Bible Study Group, Small Group, Life Group, or Prayer Group. . . When believers gather, we should pray. The focus of the groups should always be our knowledge of God’s Word, the Bible and the common time of prayer and praise. Our church actually has a time of prayer, worship and sharing, during the Sunday morning service, where the congregation can ask for prayer or share praise, and then an elder leads the common prayer. What a precious time, but admittedly not always feasible in a larger church.
However, like the believers who met at home to pray for Peter when he was in prison (Acts 12: 1–17), church members often form a prayer group to pray in times of need or crisis. Permanent prayer groups could emerge from such an experience.
Our church also has a weekly prayer group that began 35 years ago when three women came together to pray. One of those original group members is still a loyal participant, and the prayer group meets every Thursday at 4:00 p.m. to pray about prayer requests, church needs, the ward, and the country. . . whatever the Holy Spirit leads them to pray.
A prayer group is simply a group of believers who meet regularly to pray and praise in the name of the Lord. Some prayer groups may have a specific focus, such as praying for their community or praying for families or praying for elections and governments. Mothers pray for children. Some groups might pray for prisoners. The neighborhood. Schools. The list is endless.
A prayer group doesn’t need many members for everyone to have a chance to participate, but it shouldn’t be exclusive or limited either. As a prayer group grows past six, they can split into smaller groups when it is time to pray.
Ask by my name and you will be received and you will be delighted with abundant joy. John 16:24 NLT
When I asked the members of the prayer group why they were participating, their responses expressed various blessings. Here are six reasons you might be interested:
Reason # 1 to join a prayer group: Accountability
“Refocuses my daily thoughts.”
The original member of our church prayer group I mentioned in the introduction said that on the appointed day and time, she goes to church to pray, even if she knows that the other members will not be able to attend. She knows she will have the full hour of prayer without the distractions at home.
So often we want to pray, but the day just goes by, the phone rings or a family member interrupts us and we never come back to our “prayer cupboard”. Attending a prayer group that meets for prayer at a specific time and day holds us accountable in our prayer life.
There is also accountability to the other members who expect attendance and mutual participation. Meeting the family of God helps us put prayers into words. God doesn’t care how we pray; He just wants us to pray. Prayer is our conversation with God.
You didn’t because you didn’t ask God. James 4: 2