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Jesus’ disciples continued his prayer ministry by focusing on the power and urgency of prayer.  Paul in his letter to the Colossians wrote to them explaining his deep commitment to praying for them (1:9-11).  In concluding this letter (4:2-6), he carries his prayer message further by calling them to be devoted to prayer.  He pleads the Colossians to pray for him, showing us the importance of a reciprocal prayer relationship with those in our studies.

 

Jesus shows us that a strong devotion to prayer is essential.  Paul challenges us to extend this to our relationships with others.  He shows us the fellowship we share through prayer.  By this we can conclude that no small group is complete without the dedication to praying for one another.

 

As a leader, try to discern the spiritual maturity of the small group, so that you may encourage prayer in a way that is both reasonable and challenging.  Keep in mind that every group is unique.  As a leader you must try to meet the others where they are.  Above all, be flexible and willing to try new things and change methods when you see a need for further growth.

 

In all of the different kinds of small groups, the leader’s example is probably the most important way to encourage prayer.  If you value prayer and are excited about praying, your small group will be too!

 

The following is a list of possible kinds of groups and ideas for encouraging prayer in them:

 

DISCOVERY GROUP -- includes new Christians and even some non-Christians.

 

Provide a foundation of prayer.

-- Explain what prayer is using Biblical explanations and examples.

-- Explain the elements of prayer acrostics such as ACTS help (in Servantship

Section).

-- Try to install a desire to pray.

 

Pray.

-- Don’t neglect praying.  It is real easy to leave it out, especially with new

Christians.  Schedule it into your time (i.e. open and close with prayer).

-- Try praying as a group, and realize the Spirit will lead it -- don’t worry about

who isn’t praying -- just relax.

-- When asking people to pray, give them specific things to pray about.

 

Encourage prayer outside of the group.

-- Incorporate Biblical stories about the great things God has done through

prayer.

-- Consider keeping a prayer journal with each person’s requests and watch

what God is doing in your group.

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