Yesterday I had a short conversation with a small group leader about the occasional difficulties of prayer in the small group setting. It seems that prayer is one of those things that people are just uncomfortable doing in public. I think the most obvious solution to this is to simply be faithful and consistent with your prayer time in group and eventually people will become more comfortable. However, here are six ideas you might use to help your group view prayer a little differently, and as a result they may become more comfortable with the idea of praying out loud together:
1. Choose a country in the world and spend a week researching that country. As a group pray for the countries’ spiritual, political, social, and physical needs. Pray for the missionaries you may know of serving in that country.
2. Have each person share about a person they have contact with that needs Christ. Pray specifically that God will create faith sharing opportunities with those people.
3. Allow time for everyone to quietly pray and meditate. After several minutes share with each other some encouraging things that God brought to mind during the quiet time.
4. Have each person write their name on a card. Pass the cards out to others in the group. Everyone in the group should commit to carrying the card with them all week and praying for the person on the card everytime they remember.
5. Take turns having a group member sit in the middle of a circle. Have them briefly share a few personal requests. While the group prays silently for the person, have one person pray aloud.
6. Discuss what it means to confess your sins to each other. Figure out a way to do it.