A common concern among group leaders is that prayer time at the end of group meeting can feel shallow, stale, or awkward.
Some group members dominate the time with requests that seem trivial. Others treat it like a chore, struggling to think of a last-minute request (which probably means they're asking for prayer for an issue they aren't even praying about). Still others spend most of the time looking at their watches, hoping the meeting will end soon.
Check out this 60-second video for a little more information on the roles of the individual, the group, and the group leader in spiritual growth:
Don’t limit the time to only asking for prayer requests. Your goal is to earn the right to ask questions that draw out how God is uniquely leading those in your group. Instead of asking for prayer requests, consider asking questions like:
How is God leading you?
How are you responding?
How can we help?
Here are five ideas for maximizing this time in your group meetings:
Five ideas to maximize reflection time:
Follow-up with group members about previous prayer requests.
Don’t be afraid of silence. In fact, you might intentionally give the group 5 minutes of silence to reflect. (Ask people to put away their phones and tablets.)
Give people permission to wrestle, struggle, and experience unanswered prayer.
For married groups, separate men and women. This gives each person more time to share, and might allow group members to be more vulnerable.
Plan your group meeting so that reflection time isn’t cut short by extended social or study time.