Saturday, November 29, 2008

"How'd You Do That?" ~ Leading a Corporate Prayer Experience

At a recent men's conference, I had the privilege of leading a session of corporate prayer. The speaker who preceded the prayer session asked me if I had notes or a list of instructions on how I led the corporate praying ... I had to confess I had no preset order or format; it was a Spirit-led, Scripture-fed (especially from his message) session. My aim was to listen to what was being preached and then what was being prayed as a way to follow the step-by-step leading of the Holy Spirit.

After reflecting on the prayer session, here are the comments I emailed to my colleague. Let me know if they help you lead corporate praying from a more transformative perspective, Phil

* During your message, I was asking the Lord to let me know the direction he intended to go during the prayer time.
* I highly value inviting everyone to participate, even in discerning the mind of Christ for a session - So I asked for feedback.
* As men prayed, I listened for a thread or theme - "Desperation" came up a few times.
* I try to balance between letting individuals pray as they are led ("What is the Spirit prompting you to pray?") and requesting specifically focused prayers ("Someone pray on our behalf __________" (Thanking our Father for ... or, Inviting the Spirit to ... or, Asking Christ to ...)).
* I wanted everyone to have an opportunity to pray aloud, without going around the circle, so I asked the men to pray with a partner.
* I wanted to teach how to pray a blessing (many have never done that), so I used the key verse from your message, turned it into a blessing format (The person praying speaks the scriptural truth to the person they are praying for, not to the Lord). I then had the first and then the second partner repeat after me because not everyone had a Bible; they could simply repeat the words I gave them in a blessing format.
* Usually I try to incorporate several components in facilitating corporate prayer:
o A scriptural foundation or focus
o Spoken praying
o Sung prayers (as transitions to a new topic or as a way to extend praise beyond speaking out God's names (that usually goes too quickly))
o Silence (with an assignment to think/pray about)
o Scriptural prayers ("Your prayer must start from somewhere in this passage of scripture." - Praying God's word always inspires and ignites praying)
o Scripted (prayers written during the time of silence)

Check out my article on Leading/facilitating Corporate Prayer from the new release Giving Ourselves to Prayer.

Hope this helps - Feedback welcome!


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