A group of people gathering together and praying to God not only teaches them about how to pray and connect UP, but it also gives them a venue to share what is really going on in their lives and draws them together as they support each other, connecting IN.
For a Village that could use more experience praying and engaging the spiritual activity of knowing God through prayer (UP), a night of group prayer could be really helpful. And for a Village who needs to grow closer to each other and take some first steps of living in community (IN), a night of group prayer would be great.
Hebrew 4:16 paints a picture of us coming to God as He sits on His throne and we approach Him with confidence because of Jesus. As we stand before God, we then make our requests known to Him. The beauty of this in the Village context is that we don’t use our audience with God on His throne to ask God for help with our own issues and needs, but we use the opportunity to pray for others. This connects the Village to God and to each other. This is the goal of a Village Prayer Time.
There are caveats that need to be communicated in the Village meeting:
- If you’ve never prayed out loud before, it’s ok for this to be your first time. This is a safe place to give it a try.
- If you are comfortable praying out loud and do it all the time, don’t feel like you have to pray very long.
- If you don’t want to share a prayer request or if you don’t want to pray, you don’t have to.
- Based on the sermon series and the topics addressed on the previous Sunday or the previous week’s discussion, share prayer requests of the needs in the Village related to the topic. Write down the requests and then have individuals volunteer to pray for each other’s requests.
- Have directed time of prayer where the leaders give prompts of things to pray for, again based on the UP, IN, OUT needs of the Village -- so prompt prayers for the mission of the Village, or for deeper community, or for deeper connection with God. The prompts could also come from the sermon series that the church is currently going through or an issue on campus/in the city or country that is affects the people in the Village. Leaders should work with their coaches to determine appropriate prompts.
- Break up into guys and girls and share prayer requests with each other and then have individuals volunteer to pray for each other’s requests. Again, no one is required to share a request and no one is required to pray.
- Give opportunities for the Village to share prayer requests for things and people who are not in the room. The goal is to pray for things that are not about us directly but for those who are part of the Village’s mission and the broader community and culture that the Village lives in. In this respect, the prayer experience has an OUT component and can help focus the Village toward their mission out.