It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer”
- It may be helpful in advance to prepare a basic order for the meeting. However don’t become too structured so that the Holy Spirit is limited.
- Seek to include everyone present without pressuring anyone to be involved in a way not comfortable for them. We certainly don’t want people to be intimidated or embarrassed.
- Be reasonable with time amounts. Do not overextend prayer times to extremes. On the other hand do not allow the clock to limit your prayer time unnecessarily.
- Remember that the purpose of our prayer meetings should be to get people in touch with God. Keep the meeting focused on God.
- Avoid “time-wasting” distractions. Many prayer meetings involve a lot more meeting than prayer.
- Allow prayer requests to be submitted in advance so that a list can be published which saves times normally spent sharing prayer requests.
- Provide writing materials to be used in recording requests and notes.
Include a time of singing a hymn or chorus that addresses the area of praise that is being used. Sing a verse or two at a time to create variety during your praise time.
- These times can be done as a whole group or in small groups. It may even help to have folks write lists or notes as they praise.
- thank God for who He is (list attributes and qualities of God)
- thank God for what He has done (count your blessings)
- thank God for specific answers to prayer
- thank God for your own salvation (people and circumstances God used)
- thank God for specific promises in Scripture and tell Him why they are meaningful to you
- thank God for favorite verses in Scripture and tell Him what they mean in your life
- thank God for specific thoughts in hymns or choruses and then sing a verse of the song after you have thanked God for it
- thank God for lessons He has been teaching you in the last 12 months
- thank God for a person He has used to be a blessing in your life
- thank God for a place He has used to be a help in your life
Occasionally allow people to share a personal testimony with the group to encourage others as we prepare for a time of praise. Keep the testimonies “on target” and don’t lose your focus.
Use variety. Certain times it is best to let people pray alone. Other times it will be good to pray in groups of 2 or 3. With children or teens they may want to pray in one larger group or pair them up with an adult.
- have each person make a “God I Need” list. List specific things that you need from God in your life and then ask Him to meet those needs. Don’t just include physical and material needs. List spiritual needs also.
- pray as families and for families. Take time to pray for each member of your own family and remember specific needs.
- print a list of church needs (make lists of people in each area). Include: outreach ministries, church staff, Sunday School teachers (listed by class), board members, church ministries, shut-in people
- prepare a list of Christian workers and leaders in your area
- prepare a list of Christian schools and colleges
- prepare a list of your college students
- prepare a list of people with physical needs
- prepare a list of people with spiritual needs
- take time to remember government leaders. Prepare lists of local, state, and federal officials. Include the spiritual needs of the nation.
- devote special times to missions and missionaries. Highlight several missionaries and their work. Another good suggestion is to take letters as they come and place them in plastic page folders. Distribute these to people so that each prayer letter is covered each week. Collect them at the end of the prayer meeting to be used again the following week.
Prepare a standard letter that can be signed and sent to people that you are specifically praying for. (ill, Christian leaders, government officials, etc.) Have the church people sign these after the prayer meeting.
- When sharing prayer requests, encourage people to be brief and give only specific details needed so the request can be covered adequately. Discourage stories that last several minutes.
- Use Biblical prayers. (Ps. 51, Eph. 3:14-21, Col. 1:9-12)
- Allow someone to share a request and then have someone pray out loud for it. This can be done for quite a while and a lot of specific requests can be covered.
- When praying for specific topics, allow 5 or 10 minutes for prayer and then have some pray out loud to close that segment of prayer.