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Prayer: The Privilege and Responsibility of Every Leader

Prayer is foundational to Central Community Church and our mandate is to facilitate prayer and connection with God for those who attend our church. When we’re called upon to pray for others on a team and in groups, whether a midsized, a home group, or even a special interest group, the following principles and tips help us create an authentic, meaningful experience. 

We begin by understanding, teaching, and modeling what prayer is.

Prayer is our direct line with God. 

Prayer is a communication process that allows us to talk to God! He wants us to communicate with Him, much like a person-to-person phone call. Cell phones have become a necessity to people in today’s culture. Communication has never been easier than it is today with smartphones! Prayer is communication with God that allows people to interact, discuss, and respond to God. 

Prayer is not meditation or passive reflection; it is a direct address to God.  

It is the communication of the human soul with the Lord who created the soul. Prayer is the primary way for the believer in Jesus Christ to communicate their emotions and desires with God and to fellowship with God. 

Prayer can be audible or silent, private or public, formal or informal. 

All prayer must be offered in faith (James 1:6), in the name of the Lord Jesus (John 16:23), and in the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:26). “Christian prayer in its full New Testament meaning is prayer addressed to God as Father, in the name of Christ as Mediator, and through the enabling grace of the indwelling Spirit” (“Prayer” by J. C. Lambert). The wicked have no desire to pray (Psalm 10:4), but the children of God have a natural desire to pray (Luke 11:1). 

Paul wrote, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6–7). Worry about nothing; pray about everything. 

Prayer is simple 

To many people, prayer seems complicated, they say they don’t know how to pray. You need to reassure them it is simply talking to God. He is our father and wants to have a relationship with us. Prayer is one way to do this. Here simple ways you can express what prayer is: 

Praying is like talking to our best friend! It’s easy to talk to someone when you know they love you unconditionally! 

We can be as relaxed when we pray as you are talking to your closest friend! 

We get to be confident and believe what we ask is going to be accomplished. 

Be joyful that God wants you to succeed. You are His child. 

Be expectant that he will answer your request. 

Pray with faith, not with fear. 

Praying for One Another is Powerful

Jesus set an example for us on what to pray (John 17). He prayed for His disciples and for every generation to come that would follow Him. His prayer was that God would protect and strengthen them as long as they were in this world. Jesus also prayed for those who would come to believe in Him through the Gospel message. In that same passage, Jesus also gave us his name to use to come to God with and to use in situations where His authority was needed. 

Growing Through Prayer in Groups

In your context and in the group you are in, prayer will look different. A midsized group and home group has the ability in that setting, to end a meeting and take prayer requests and pray for the individual needs. They can make a list of requests and email them to the group later. An interest group may only feel comfortable with a quick pray before the event starts or at the end. 

No matter the group type, prayer is an essential part of your group time. As the leader, you get to model prayer in the context that works in your situation. But you always need to pray. Some people have never prayed out loud. Others have never had someone else pray with them. As the leader, you might grow in this spiritual discipline yourself as you are inspiring others to stretch at their own pace.

What a privilege we have to share this life-giving opportunity in communicating with God! 

Want to grow in leading others through prayer? Be sure to ask your area pastor about attending the Leadership 402 class module on prayer.