Friday, January 30, 2009

Q & A on Facilitating Prayer

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Phil,

I am to co-lead a 90 minute prayer session for our Pastors Prayer Gathering. The focus is giving praise for the God of the City. Can you help me with some guidelines, thoughts, pointers, suggestions. Thanks in advance.


A few thoughts - Always seek the moment-by-moment leadership of the Holy Spirit - Hope they help!
  • Recruit someone who can begin a song when needed. They must participate in the circle, not play piano from outside the circle (2 concentric rows of chairs).
  • Ask them to prepare sets (2-3) of songs that focus on God's character, songs of praise, repentance, seeking, celebration ... You will ask them for a song when needed; they will probably not use all the songs they prepare. Lyrics are unnecessary if the songs (hymns and contemporary songs) are well known - the goal is to sing the song as a corporate prayer, not as a filler or just to sing a song.
  • Sit with your co-facilitator at the "12 o'clock" part of the circle (determine that by the feel of the room, lighting/windows, or (especially) the door participants would walk in and out of - Sit where movement would cause the least distraction.
  • The worship leader does not need to sit next to you two.
  • Eliminate the 2nd row seating directly behind you.
  • Design a format, something like:
    • Welcome ... Housekeeping ... Introductions
    • Cast vision for the purpose of this session (why are we praying along this particular theme? What might the impact be?)
    • Explain how this kind of praying is different than around-the-circle, down-the-list praying:
    • Give instructions:
      • Praying can be spoken, sung (lead out in a song and we will join you), scripture (read a verse of paragraph of scripture as your prayer or as a prologue, or silence (do not interrupt a time of obvious meditation led by the Spirit) ...
      • Listen to the prayer of the person you follow so that your prayer is an extension of their thought, much like in a conversation. Before you begin a new subject, allow someone else to add on to the previous prayer.
      • If you believe the Lord has given you an insight for the entire group, please come and share that with the facilitators before saying anything to the group
      • Some songs will be used as a transition to a new focus but whenever we sing, sing it as a corporate prayer.
    • Start prayer with triads: Find 2 other people, each praying a brief prayer:
      • First person - address the Holy Spirit, asking him to lead and guide all of our praying...
      • Second person - ask the Lord Jesus to reveal the mind of Christ to us so that our prayers are in agreement with his heart...
      • Third person - express to our heavenly Father that our goal is for his kingdom to come and his will to be done more effectively through the Church as a result of our praying today ...
    • Praise to the God of the City
      • Draw triads back to their seats with a song of praise
      • Read a scripture on that theme that can be used to focus and launch prayers
      • Prayers of the people...
      • Inject another song of praise ... more prayers ... allow silence (for some this is adjustment to see if you will really follow all the instructions you gave!) ...
    • Repentance to the God of the City
      • Transition to this focus with a song of conviction
      • Explain corporate repentance is, like Nehemiah and Daniel, leadership repenting for sins that they may not have personally committed
      • Talk about the way the Church has failed to obey, to live up to this reality, to trust ... launch praying from a scripture passage that calls for prayers of corporate repenting: "Father, forgive us for ___."
      • Inject 1-2 additional songs that are prayers of corporate repentance...
    • Agreeing with the God of the City
      • Transition song with a focus on corporate obedience
      • Read a passage of scripture that ca prompt many prayers of how the Church is meant to reveal and reflect the character of God into the city; person-by-person, community-by-community
      • Inject 1-2 additional songs that are prayers of corporate obedience...
    • Yielding to the God of the City
      • Transition song with a focus on the power of the Spirit to bring victory
      • Passage of scripture ... Prayers ... Concluding song of anticipated victory in Christ
    • Debrief
      • Ask for feedback: What was your experience like as we prayed? Anything surprise you?
      • What did God say to us as we heard the prayers he placed in our hearts?
      • How can we implement this style of corporate praying into our congregation?


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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

One prayer option I saw is to ask someone to pray for me at the Western Wall for 40 days. I heard it's really powerful and really works.