Facilitating Prayer in Your MC
Every person coming into your microchurch has a different level maturity when it comes to prayer. You may have newbies who have never prayed in their life to seasoned intercessors who have logged more hours on their knees than you have been leading a microchurch! So how do you, the microchurch leader, facilitate a prayerful microchurch where those who know nothing of prayer can grow in this critical aspect of their faith while at the same time not going so elementary that those seasoned prayer warriors are twiddling their thumbs?
I am going to give you a few tips on how to facilitate prayer in your microchurch where everyone wins:
1. Model It. I started following Jesus when I was 17. I had no idea what I was doing when it came to prayer. People tried to explain it, but to no avail. I tried reading up on prayer and honestly, that didn’t really help either. The way that I learned how to pray was by listening to other people pray. Sounds elementary, but even the disciples asked Jesus, “Lord teach us how to pray as John taught his disciples to pray.” (Luke 11:1) So apparently, this was normative. The way disciples learned how to pray was to be taught by listening to their Rabbi pray. So give your people an example! Make sure there are times in your microchurch where you have opportunities to pray and for then to hear others pray as well.
2. Mix It Up. Now if the only thing that people hear are prayer requests at the end of the night (and let’s be honest: especially when you are starting out a microchurch, prayer requests are usually shallow… about some third party like your cousin’s girlfriend being sick or prayers for your exam in two weeks) it is going to be hard to really learn how to pray. Make sure that there are times in your microchurch that different types and prayer focuses can be explored. Have a night where intercession is taking place. Allow for prophetic prayer another night. Teach people how to listen and journal what they hear and how to wait on the Lord. Instruct the microchurch to pray with thanksgiving and praise by actually praising God through prayer. Constantly be exposing your microchurch to new ways to pray… this is going to be the only way they learn! Just like we learn to speak a language by hearing others speak it first, we learn how to pray be hearing it initially modeled for us.
3. Call On The Veterans. The best way to keep the mature prayer people in your microchurch active and not simply waiting to go deeper somewhere else is to activate them as prayer coaches and teachers. Call out the gift and prayer passion in them and then release them to take a few of the newer believers under their wing to teach them how to pray. Let them be prayer guides to teach others how to pray… don’t be the sole prayer leader! And when you do mix it up in your microchurch, make sure they know that you are counting on them to help lead the charge.
4. Be Creative! I have heard of microchurches setting up prayer stations around the house/apartment that they meet in that acts as a guided prayer tool for the microchurch members. Others have had teachings on prophetic journaling and listening to the Lord (directly followed by time to practice). Others have had silent prayer walks in nature, or intercessory prayer walking in their neighborhoods.
Try to show the diversity and variety of prayer so that it doesn’t feel like a stagnant piece of their spiritual to-do list for the day! Allow people to taste and see that the Lord is good as Psalm 34 tells us. Trust me, watching people come alive is worth the time you put in!
You can also check out the Hour that Changes the World – Prayer Wheel that can help you learn the different ways to break up your personal prayer time in strategic, effective 5 minute increments. This can also be a rough guide for microchurch prayer as well.