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Is there a better way? New thinking about Group Prayer.

A couple of weeks ago I attended a board retreat for Keep Believing Ministries headed up by Dr. Ray Pritchard. It was a weekend packed with overviews of the ministry, games, good food, great conversation and prayer.

          During our last night together, Peter Faulkner, the Foundation Relations Manager at the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and board member of KBM, was tasked with leading the evening prayer meeting. The room was filled with a variety of church and business leaders, lawyers, artists, and moms.

          Peter began the meeting by relaying a conversation he had with a friend who asked him if God couldn’t hear our prayers if our eyes were open. He said that it really struck him as a truth that he hadn’t spent much time considering. Peter said that just because we have always done something one way … doesn’t mean that it is how it has to be done.

          Typically in a prayer meeting, we go around the room and list our prayer requests, we close our eyes … then try to remember everything that everyone asked us to pray about … then wonder if it is our turn yet … and wonder if our prayers are too long … or too short …

          Peter asked us if God missed what we said the first time. Wasn’t He with us all along? He suggested that we try something new and then he challenged us to go around the room and as we shared our prayer requests, to actually pray those requests … out loud … to God … with our eyes open.

          One by one we offered up our own prayer requests to our heavenly Father who knows our hearts and delights in the time we spend with Him. It was beautiful, and intimate, and no prayers were missed or forgotten. Some of the most seasoned among us let their tears flow while laying out their petitions before the Lord and before all of us.

          I don’t think that I want to go back to the old way of group prayer and I don’t think it matters much to God if our eyes are open or closed. I think He hears us just fine.

Kathryn McBride

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