Teaching Small Group Members How to Pray

There are people who want to pray in groups, but just don't know how.

The small group my husband and I led shared prayer needs at the end of each meeting. Jeff or I usually asked if one or two people wanted to pray for the prayer requests. Tony and Brooke, a young married couple, had been in our group for a few short months. Brooke had come to Christ a few years earlier, but Tony had only been a Christ follower for a short period of time. He was a friendly guy but was very quiet, and I was sensitive to the fact that the entire church scene was a completely new experience for him.

I wanted him to feel comfortable in our small group, and, for this reason, I had never called on him to pray. When he volunteered one evening, I was surprised and delighted. There was a large pause and then he dove in: "Uh, Dear God, uh, thank you for being with us today and, and, be with …"He paused and then started again. "Dear Lord … " He said, and then broke off again with a heavy sigh. I waited patiently, reluctant to assist him. I did not want him feel as if he was not doing a good job. I sat quietly hoping he might find the words. After these few false starts, he said in a slightly panicked voice, "I need a little help here."

Delighted by his child-like honesty, I squelched a chuckle. "You're doing great," I said, and several other group members affirmed him as well. Then I helped him finish his prayer. After we concluded, I praised him again. "Thanks for volunteering to do that. You did a great job. It's really scary at first, but you'll get better with practice. The important thing is to remember that you are just talking to God like you would to anyone else."

The experience with Tony taught me a lesson in discipling. Sometimes people remain on the sidelines because it is intimidating when others ...

article Preview

This article is currently available to SmallGroups.com subscribers only. To continue reading:

free newsletter

Sign up for our free Small Groups Newsletter newsletter: Regular access to innovative training resources, Bible-based curriculum, and practical articles.


Create Sermon-Based Bible Studies
How to write engaging group studies that tie into your pastor's sermons
Top 10 Small Group Training Tools of 2014
You'll want to check out these popular resources!
Theological Discussions for Everyone
Get everyone involved in meaningful, fruitful discussions.
Are You Engaging Everyone?
Don't leave any of your group members behind.
Find the Right Study for Your Group
Practical tips so you'll never dread finding a study again
Give Your Study Some Context
Help group members understand the Scripture you're discussing