Here are four ways to prioritize prayer in your Group:
Meaningful Times of Prayer
You may have said before, “let me open us in a Word of prayer.” While any time spent in prayer is valuable, Jesus taught the importance of meaningful times of prayer. Make it a priority to spend time together with your D-Group in prayer. Rather than relegating prayer to an opening or closing act, allow for time within your meeting to intercede with and for one another.
One of the best ways to prioritize prayer in your Group is to use a notebook or journal to keep track of needs. By writing down each request, you’re more likely to remember it throughout the day. You’ll also have a guide to refer back to during your times of prayer each day. Additionally, a prayer journal also allows you to track God’s work within your Group as you celebrate answered prayers.
Take Advantage of Technology
There are numerous free resources available that will help you and your Group develop greater consistency in your prayer lives. Some have found it helpful to use the calendar feature on their phones to set prayer reminders. Others use apps like Echo to track requests.
THE ROLE OF prayer IN MAKING DISCIPLES
Andrew Murray once said, “We must begin to believe that God, in the mystery of prayer, has entrusted us with a force that can move the Heavenly world, and can bring its power down to earth.” Prayer is the calling down of God’s power on you and those around you. Consider the magnitude of this statement…because of the work of Christ, we have access to Heavenly empowerment which enables us to accomplish all that God has called us to do.
Consider, then, the ramifications of a walk with Christ that places little to no emphasis on prayer. If prayer is calling down God’s power, and we don’t treat it as such, what are we saying? In essence, we’re saying to God: I’ve got it all together. I’m capable. I’m in control.
We all know that this isn’t the case. As a matter of fact, we have nothing under control. A disciple who remains steadfast in prayer is submitting wholly to God in recognition that they are not capable of anything apart from the power of God. Jesus was very clear about how able we would be without Him. In John 15:5, He reminds His disciples, “apart from me you can do nothing.” Prayer reveals our utter dependence upon Him.
Jesus, our Master, modeled this truth. It was not at all irregular for Jesus to spend an entire night in fellowship with His Father. He was strengthened from doing so. It kept His Father’s will ever before Him. Jesus often rose early in the morning so that He could pray (Mark 1:35). Jesus prayed publicly to God on behalf of Lazarus (John 11:41-42) and before healing a person with a speech impediment (Mark 7:34-35). Even in the Garden of Gethsemane, mere moments from the cross, He was seeking the heart of His Father (Matthew 26).
If the sovereign Son of God was sought so desperately to employ this Heavenly power, how much more should we?
The first disciples saw this heart within their Teacher and were eager to learn from His example. Of all the wonderful works we read about in the pages of Scripture, only one— prayer — caused the disciples to seek out additional understanding (Luke 11). The chosen twelve never asked Jesus to teach them how to preach or perform miracles, but they did ask Him, “Lord, teach us to pray.”
Upon this teaching the Church was established. Prayer was the first real action the disciples took while they were waiting on the coming Holy Spirit (Acts 1). Acts 1:14 says, “All these with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer.” If any one word captures the heart of being powered by prayer, it’s devotion to it. Only prayer, calling down Heavenly power, would prepare them for the task at hand.
This dedication to prayer was a recognition of their dependence upon Him; a realization that they were powerless to accomplish the mission in their own strength.
When His disciples could do nothing but wait, they did what they saw their Master doing. They begin calling out for strength to act. They were ready, but not yet empowered. Disciples of Christ are still drawn to their knees when they perceive their weakness. We too can pray with expectation — a holy anticipation of Heavenly power. This commitment to prayer always precedes the work of God. Then and now, prayer unleashes the power of God to fulfill the promises of God. Like these first disciples, you may fight feelings of insufficiency. When you find yourself filled with fear and paralyzed by your powerlessness, do what Jesus’ disciples did: pray.