In 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, Paul writes, ‘Rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in everything; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus’.
Note, Paul is addressing a church. A group of people. Not just individuals. Looking at 1 Thessalonians again, “(You all) rejoice always, (you all) pray constantly, (you all) give thanks in everything; for this is God’s will for you (all) in Christ Jesus.
Recently, some members our my LifeGroup read the book Life Together by Deitrich Bonhoeffer. In this book, he talks about ‘saying our prayers together’ within our community. After reflecting on this truth, our LifeGroup wanted to take action.
So here are some steps we’re currently taking to grow in prayer together:
1 - Schedule times to pray together outside of group time.
We recently started a prayer walk and invited our LifeGroup to come 30 minutes before group time to walk the neighborhood and pray. We pray for:
Specific houses and businesses, and the opportunity to build community with them.
Houses for rent/sale. For God to bring the right people into those places.
Relationships between home-owners and college students in the neighborhood
For neighbors by name, that they would come to know Jesus
Another way to pray together outside of group time is to create a Google document where people can sign up to pray on specific days for certain topics.
2 - Create more prayer roles within your LifeGroup.
Some groups have roles in LifeGroup for prayer collectors or leading prayer during LifeGroup. Along with that, there are other ways to incorporate more prayer roles. Consider assigning someone to consistently pray, whether during or outside of group time, for the following:
LifeGroup/church leaders - for their spiritual health, wisdom, and humility as they trust God and lead
Proactive Mission partnership - we partner with Epworth Children's Home, so we get to pray for them individually and ask for prayer requests from Student Groups for broader requests.
Reactive Mission - Individuals that your LifeGroup is building with
The kids in your LifeGroup - For them to follow Jesus and for parents/LifeGroup to disciple them up
3 - Be consistent no matter what.
‘Let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.’ Galatians 6:9.
Keep praying together, even when it's hard and doesn’t go according to plan. It’s easy to have a plan in mind but over time get discouraged with the reality of real life. This is where we get to persevere. A few reminders for when this happens:
Don’t get caught up on how many people are coming, be faithful and celebrate who’s coming
Combine prayer with times your LifeGroup is already together (i.e. before group time or rhythms)
Share with others in the LifeGroup what you are praying for and how you have seen God be faithful
When we tried our prayer walking for the first time, only three of us could come. But consistency is key. Since we’ve started doing this, I’ve seen our LifeGroup grow in praying for things instead of just talking about them. I’ve seen us grow in unity and purpose. This has also been a great way to incorporate LifeGroup members who may not have significant LifeGroup responsibilities just yet. As we pray for each other and our community, we’ve seen the Spirit bring us closer to God and each other.
How’s big of a role does prayer take in your LifeGroup?
What’s one thing you and your LifeGroup can do to grow in praying together?