3 Tactics for Corporate Prayer
We want to avoid the various negative experiences many of us have faced in corporate prayer. Here are a few examples of negative experiences in corporate prayer:
- People giving too much information in their prayer request.
- People not giving enough information in their prayer request.
- The prayer time turning into a gossip session.
- Focus placed on just a few things, like people’s health needs or certain families or individuals.
We want to avoid those negative things, yet we still need to pray for all of the requests that are mentioned. So I’d like to suggest three different ways we can keep corporate prayer focused, and we can certainly combine these tactics.
1. Receive prayer requests.
This is important. Even though request sharing can degenerate, it is nonetheless important for us to love one another by bearing each other’s burdens before the throne.
2. Focus on a specific need.
We can have prayer meetings where we focus on just one specific need. It may be that there’s a need in the community or a national tragedy that’s happened. We can focus our time on praying deeply for that one thing.
I know a group that meets once a month just to pray for the persecuted church. That’s all they pray for. This allows them to pray from all sorts of angles and bring the promises of God to the single issue of the persecuted church.
We can pray for things like elections. We can pray for the big decisions that our churches are making. So we may have prayer meetings in which we decide not to receive any requests and we simply pray for a single issue.
3. Systematically pray through a list of people.
Another way we can keep corporate prayer focused is to take a systematic approach to our praying. It might take the form of using a list of all the people in our church or group, and praying through the list for specific people or families.
One upshot of this approach is that no one gets missed or left out. Even though one person might not have an immediate crisis, they still need prayer. We all need prayer. We can use a church directory, a list of the missionaries we support, or a list of the different ministries in our church. These are some practical means of ensuring that we pray for everyone in a given sphere of influence when we pray.