Recently at a YOU Lead women’s leadership training, we had a panel answering questions submitted by attendees. Several past and upcoming posts address those and try to help answer them.
Today’s question is: What are some practical, non-threatening ways to help women overcome fear of praying for and about others in small groups? (also see the 5 part series of blog posts on prayer)
For women who are new believers, or new to small Bible study or prayer groups, praying out loud can be frightening. Some may hear you or others pray and think they have to know certain words or pray specific ways to talk to God. Teaching women about prayer is a good start, but then how do we get them to feel free to pray?
1. Let them know ahead of time, no one will be forced to pray.
2. When you pray, try using simple language.
3. Remember, sometimes the best prayers are short!
4. Try encouraging one word responses to prayer. For instance, open the prayer, then ask women in the group to just speak one word that describes how they love God, or give their favorite name/description for God.
5. When sharing several requests, ask who in the group might pray just for Susan’s request. Who else will pray for the VBS that begins tomorrow?
6. Lead a directed prayer time: begin with sharing names of adoration for God, move them to confession, ask what they are thankful for, pray for specific needs on each heart (each time you being with short prayer thoughts).
What other thoughts do you have about getting women to pray in groups?
Some great prayer resources:
Transformed Lives: Taking women’s Ministry to the Next Level, compiled by Chris Adams (Some of the information above was taken from this resource)
He Speaks to Me, Priscilla Shirer
Discerning God’s Voice, Priscilla Shirer
Oh, God, Please, Leighann McCoy
Whispers of Hope, Beth Moore
Lord, Teach Me to Pray, Kay Arthur
Disciples PrayerLife, Hunt & Walker
Various Studies on Prayer by Jennifer Kennedy Dean
In God’s Presence, T. W. Hunt
The Prayer of Jesus, Ken Hemphill
Follow Me: Lessons for Becoming a Prayerwalker, Randy Sprinkle