When small-group leaders in out church noted that their group prayer times tended to be outswardly focused and "safe," we developed a list of prayer prompts to help members articulate the personal struggles they might face.
The next time their groups met, leaders distributed copies of the list to group members. Leaders read a few of the prompts that described their own current situation, adding specific details where appropriate. Then they encouraged others in the group to do the same. (Leaders should remind members that anything shared in the group must remain confidential.) After using the prompts for a few weeks, members grew more comfortable relating personal prayer requests in their group.
Here are a few of the prompts we used.
- "My desire to live for God has fizzled. Pray that I'll recapture my passion."
- "I keep encountering the same temptations. Pray that I will resist them through God's strength."
- "I don't know God very well. Pray that He'll reveal Himself to me."
- "I feel guilty about some things. Pray that I will experience God's forgiveness."
- "My faith is shaky. Pray that I'll cling to God."
- "A key relationship needs work. Pray that I'll proceed with wisdom, courage, and humility."
- "I've wronged someone. Ask God to help me apologize quickly."
- "I'm angry/bitter toward someome. Pray that I'll be able to forgive that person."
- "I need to confront someone in love. Pray that I'll know what to say and how to say it."
- "My family member/friend needs Christ. Pray that God will use me to reach that person."
- "I'm facing an important decision. Pray that I'll have wisdom."
- "I'm stressed. Pray that I'll experience God's peace."
- "Old wounds are affecting my life and relationships. Pray that I will resolve these."
from Discipleship Journal , Jan Feb 2006 Issue 151 pg. 93