Impacting Cities & Communities thru Prayer
A Community of Prayer Champions, Praying Churches, Prayed-for Communities
Tonight at dinner at the Quad-Cities Christian Writers Conference (Eldridge, Iowa), I heard a neat idea for church or group prayer that I think both honors the God who knows our hearts and also encourages people to pray who would normally not participate in any group or public prayer setting.
The church we were discussing had a practice, during their weekly worship service, of having a time for prayer in which they invited the congregation to come forward and simply name someone for whom they were praying. The church lifted that person up in prayer simply by repeating their name together, trusting that God knew all the details He needed and that agreeing together for His best for that person.
The person relaying this story to me was impressed by how many people participated in this prayer time, and we discussed together how this type of prayer might encourage participation from those who are too shy to try to construct prayers in a group setting. We all know that can be an intimidating setting, especially when people don't pray effectively as a group (praying way too long, using flowery language, trying to impress others with their knowledge of Scripture, etc.). I fell in love with this idea instantly and can't wait to try it when I get back home.
Obviously, this type of prayer isn't the only way we should be praying togehter, but I'm intrigued by the potential for inviting more participation by creating a less threatening environment for prayer. I also like the idea of taking ourselves and our preconceived notions out of the mix and inviting more of God in, simply trusting Him to do what He knows is needed in a given situation. So often we try to prescribe for God how He should respond to a situation or how He should meet a particular need in a person's life. I like this idea as a way to give over total control to Him.