Prayer is our communication with, to and from God. While there are no bad ways to pray, many have found their prayer life enriched by discovering new ways to pray.
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Here are 10 ways to spruce up your small group prayers:
1. Intercessory prayer. Invite petitions by ending with the words, “Lord, in your mercy,” followed by the group saying, “Hear our prayer.”
2. Ex corde prayer is spoken from the heart (not reading from notes).
3. Circle prayer. Standing in a circle, each person offers a brief petition in turn. Gently squeeze the next person’s hand when you have offered your petition. See how many times you can keep going around the circle.
4. Popcorn prayers. Each person offers a single-word petition, speaking loudly in no particular order. To be effective, do not wait — but speak your single-word petition until it sounds like popcorn popping.
5. Hug prayer. Think of athletes on the playing field before a game.
6. Blessing prayer. Much like a hug prayer, but one person at a time kneels in turn while the others place hands on the kneeler’s head and shoulders and pray for that person.
7. ACTS prayer. Remember its acronym: Adoration (words of praise to God for all God’s benefits to us), Confession (naming our sins and asking for pardon), Thanksgiving (thanks to a loving God from God’s children), and Supplication (the last and least important element of prayer, our requests to our gracious God).
8. Formal prayer can be thoughtful and even poetic prayers.
9. Fill-in-the-blanks prayer. Each person completes a sentence with a word or phrase such as, “Lord, empower our congregation to ___.”
10. Meditation prayer. Take time for silent prayer and meditation.
© 2014 Augsburg Fortress, Publishers