How to form and lead an intercessory prayer group.

Intercessory Prayer Groups

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Lord, give focus to each intercessory group.

Intercessory Prayer Groups

Doing It Together

One of the most powerful ways to go about praying for others is to form a small group set aside for that purpose. The prayer time can be surrounded with other activities or be stripped of most else; each group develops its own tone. It's best not to make a big fuss about praying together for others or for the Church or about any one prayer procedure or approach or strategy; it's something which works best when it's just done. As with all small groups, a commitment and a comraderie is likely to develop over time, just from sharing these concerns together. It can get exciting when one of the prayers is answered.

There are rules of good behavior - a kind of prayer etiquette, not law -- for intercessory prayer circle members to follow (these are good rules for other types of groups, too):

One of the great glories of the new web technologies is the possibilities of chat room prayer. One approach: people who bear a burden for, say, special needs children, or the victims of a disaster, can gather on the web in a specific room at a specific time from all over the world, all at once, sharing what they are each led to share, so that all can pray together on it. A record can be posted for the benefit of those who missed the scheduled time and still want to pray with them.

Intercessory Prayer Group Leadership

It is important that there be someone who takes the main responsibility for leading the group. Often a main leader emerges from the first few meetings, just naturally, but if things start to drift or fizzle after a while, a more deliberate choice needs to be made. A group without some sort of leadership usually drifts off into the mists. Leadership sets the basic course for the prayers of the meeting, maintains the contacts, makes suggestions for further devotions, makes sure schedules are set, and provides a way for the group to effectively pray on private matters without breaching privacy. The main leader is the main contact, the go-to person on specific prayer matters outside of group time, or with questions on prayer practice. Most groups find that it's best to take one subject at a time; if so, there needs to be someone who is responsible for keeping the group on course, and to stop members from hijacking the prayers, while still allowing the Spirit to have the freedom to switch the tracks. The leader also debriefs - he/she goes over what happened with those who couldn't be there. Leadership can be a shared or alternating role, but each one's responsibilities need to be made very clear. A leader should have traits like these :

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Remember This About Intercession

One last note: notice that I said nothing about Satan, nor about tearing down strongholds, or claiming victories over cities. This is not because there is no Satan; I believe the Devil really exists (in his own surreal way). I don't even object to a 'spiritual warfare' view of intercession, taken in the right way, viewed through the eyes of love. But spiritual warfare is not the heart of intercessory prayer, nor are strategies for victory against the Devil. Nor are prayer procedures, practices, traditions, or methods what really matters. Nor is praying together in vast numbers, or using exactly the same words, or using only bible phrases. Intercession is a matter of love first, before and beyond anything else. It is a matter of perspective, looking outward from ourselves to see what life is, or can become, for other people, and being moved by it. All 'strategies' for intercession prayers are specific -- they are about specific people (or specific groups) and specific happenings or needs. The Devil loses when the Spirit builds people up through praying and being prayed for. The place for all other matters (and there are many) is within the context of love.

Spirithome has more on what Christians are and have been doing to stand with and for those who are ill.
More on prayer groups.
More , from Living Lutheran.

Intercessory Quotes

"He prayed for His enemies, and you do not even pray for your friends."
---------- Johann Arndt, *True Christianity*

"All vital praying makes a drain on a man's vitality. True intercession is a sacrifice, a bleeding sacrifice."
---------- J.H. Jowett

"When you pray for your friends, be ready to lend a hand. Lip service does nothing for God."
---------- Dennis Kean

ponder these questions prayerfully.

Study Questions on Intercession

  1. When you were ill or in serious trouble, did you ever feel the prayers of others? What was that like? What were you getting from those prayers?
  2. Have you ever been so concerned about someone that you felt driven to pray for them?
  3. If you take part in a liturgical service : take note of the Prayer Of the Church, which usually happen somewhere between the Sermon and Holy Communion. Is it an intercessory prayer? What is it that you are praying for in it? What can a prayer like that do for those praying it?
  4. Can you think of any gifted intercessors in your worship community? What is special about their intercessions? Do you ever pray for them? Do you ever pray with them?
  5. Is there someone who comes to mind right now? Take time right now and pray for that person.

C'mon. I dare you. Try even more questions and dares.