I just spoke with a wise man who loves the Lord who has been asked to start up a prayer group. If anyone has any insights on how to start up a prayer group, feel free to share. I am going to share how I have started up prayer groups and you can glean what you can from it, use what suits you, and throw the rest out the window.
Ask the Holy Spirit! (I know that’s not necessarily new revelation for all of us, but that’s my Plan A-Z.)
The key in this is actually listening to the Holy Spirit after asking Him. Sometimes I ask the Lord a question, listen for a second, and then assume He isn’t listening. He is EAGER to respond and EAGER to speak with me! He’s a good listener (Psalm 116:1-2), but a good listener is one who responds when asked a question; therefore He is both listening and responsive!
Let’s take time, even now, to ask the Holy Spirit…
“What do you want me to pray for?”
“What Scriptures do you want me to pray from?”
“Who do You want me to invite to pray?”
“What times/days do You want us to pray?”
If you connect with the Lord by purely sitting in silence, then sit in silence.
If you connect with the Lord by walking around, get up and walk.
If you connect with the Lord by listening to music, feel free to click here to listen to a clip of a worship set.
For my own sanctification and encouragement, I did this activity as well. I stopped to listen as the song played and I want to encourage you with a few things.
1. I didn’t actually think of stopping everything I was doing to close my eyes and really listen to what the Holy Spirit was speaking until the end of the song.
2. When I finally did stop everything I was doing to listen to the Lord, I was still distracted. My literal thoughts were as follows:
“Isaiah 62….good reminder. I’m praying Isaiah 62 for Israel.”
“…wow…my hands really smell like hot dogs…”
“…I should really be listening to this song…”
“Your love changes everything…that’s so true, Lord!”
“Wow…I am so tired right now”
“…oh, the song ended…”
I say that to encourage you to keep praying. When we are praying, we are going to need to constantly re-direct our thoughts. It’s just a process. Receive the grace God has already given you and don’t listen to the lies of the enemy that you’re “bad” at praying. You can’t be “bad at praying” when you’re spending time with Jesus, because that’s all He wants – is you! He loves that you’re sitting with Him, listening to Him, spending time with Him, talking with Him, and sharing your heart. Jesus is the most relational man you will ever meet. He LOVES time with you! He cherishes it!
Lessons I’ve learned:
1. Not every moment intentionally spent in prayer will be incredibly exciting. Press in anyway. Sometimes it will feel dry and it will feel like nothing is happening. Press in anyway. We do not rely on our emotions or how things feel. We rely on the Truth of the God. Prayer is effective, because James 5 says it is.
Therefore,confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. 17 Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. 18 Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit. – James 5:16-18
2. Prayer is not a ministry which is typically in the spot light, but it will humble us.
3. To maintain praying, we need to ask for continued wisdom and revelation from the Lord, otherwise we will become discouraged. (Ephesians 1:17-19)
4. “Just don’t give up and don’t give in. If you don’t quit, you win.” – Misty Edwards’ song “I Knew What I Was Getting Into”
5. We can do a lot of things with Scripture and we can pray in multiple ways.
6. As you’re praying, feel free to change up the scenery. Pray outside. Pray inside. Pray inside a home made blanket fort.
If it helps to sit in different positions or to get up and walk, do that.
If it helps to sing the Word of God, do that. If it helps to pray in silence for 5 minutes then to pray in a group for 5 minutes, do that.
You have the freedom to pray how you want!
7. When we pray the Word of God, we know that it is effective, because Isaiah 55:11 says it.
so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.
8. Start praying by thanking God. We have instruction from the Lord on how to enter His courts.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
and his courts with praise!
Give thanks to him; bless his name!
For me, the biggest part of prayer is to pray the Truth of who God says He is.
If it helps you to get in the mode of entering His courts with thanksgiving by thanking God for the first 5 minutes of a prayer time, come up with a way to do that.
Set a timer and go around the house thanking God for everything you see.
Use the alphabet and thank God for something starting with every letter.
Find some way to enter His courts with Thanksgiving.
We thank-you that You are the Best Leader ever!!! You are so good to give us revelation and wisdom and to show us what to do and how to pray and who to pray with. You are a Great guider, Holy Spirit! Thank-you for dwelling in us and for being the Spirit of Truth who is guiding us into all Truth. We love You and we love who You are in us! We pray that You would give us continued wisdom and revelation, Lord, as we seek Your face. We know that You will, because You promise it in Your Word. You are so faithful, God. We love You, Jesus. Thank-You for what You are going to do through us in our prayer times and for how You will be reminding us of things and people to pray for. Thank-You for the verses that You will bring to mind, Holy Spirit. We love speaking with You. Give us continued guidance and a heart to pray. Stir us up to pray, Lord! Stir us up to intercede for our country, for our families, for the desires and longings You’ve laid on our hearts. Stir our hearts to pray Your Word back to You. Show us how to pray Your word, because we know it is good and right and true! Have Your way, Jesus. Your will be done, Your Kingdom come on earth as it is in Heaven. We are awaiting the day and we are so excited for You to come back, Jesus! We love You! Amen.