A 7 Step Process for Small Group Prayer Meetings

Praying together in small groups is often one of the most awkward and difficult disciplines to develop. Here is a seven step process you can use to devote one of your group meetings to prayer. This will help the group to become more comfortable with the idea of prayer together, while also providing a good model for them to adopt in their personal prayer practice:

1. Focus – Relax, be calm, be still. Give everyone a moment to clear their mind of the day's clutter, and to simply be present in the moment. Perhaps choose an applicable verse or passage you can read during this time.

2. Thanksgiving – Have group members simply call out some of the things for which they are grateful. These might be big items or small items. They may be something that God has done for them or they may be thankful for an attribute of God. Close the time by leading the group in a short prayer of thanksgiving.

3. Requests – Take a couple minutes and have everyone speak to the people on each side of them. During this time, they should each share one request with the people on their sides. After a few minutes, have the group conclude their conversations and allow about 30 seconds for everyone to silently pray for their neighbors.

4. Reflection – Have 3-5 people share something that happened during their day that made them aware of God's presence. Encourage the others to also be thinking about their own experiences during this time. (if more than 3-5 desire to share, go ahead and take the time)

5. Confession and Forgiveness – Having spent time thinking about the previous day, many in the group have undoubtedly been reminded of parts of their day they would like to do differently. Take about a minute for silent prayer. Have the group members use the time to confess their sins to God and ask forgiveness. Encourage them to ask for strength so that today's mistakes won't repeat themselves tomorrow.

6. Renewal – Go around the room and have each person share one area of their life which God is currently renewing, or they might share one area of their life which they desire to see renewed by God.

7. Closure – Choose an appropriate Psalm and have the entire group read it together in unison. (it may be wise to print it on paper ahead of time so that everyone is reading from the same translation)

(this process has been very loosely adapted from what is sometimes called the practice of Examen)