Week 5: Power of Prayer
Fellowship – Snacks or a Meal (10 minutes with snacks; longer, obviously, if there is a meal)
Gathering Time (5-10 minutes). In pairs or groups of three, have participants share a meaningful time of prayer. (Allow them to share a circumstance or person they would like to pray for. Have the group pray for that circumstance or person.)
Group Dialogue (Approximately 30 minutes)
Read: James 5:13-20.
- What is possible for prayer to achieve, according to this passage? Do you share James’ confidence about prayer?
- Note the communal aspect of prayer cited in this passage. We should call for others to pray for us (v. 14). Healing and forgiveness were means toward being more fully present in community. We should pray for one another (v. 16). Those who wander from the community are brought back together (vv. 19-20). Prayer is often viewed as an individual activity. James suggests that prayer is for the building up of the community. How might this group and this church hold intentional times of corporate prayer? [In worship, prayer stations, litanies, prayers during Communion, and so on.]
- Often, people focus on the words that will be said in prayer. However, one definition of prayer is, “Intentionally being in the presence of God.” How might this understanding of prayer help relieve the burden of having the “right” words for prayer?
- Why do you think James, who focused so much of this book encouraging faith that is displayed in actions, end by encouraging prayer?
- How might prayers and actions be complementary responses to God’s grace?
- What might God be calling you to do as a response to this passage?
Prayer (10 minutes). Share prayer requests and respond appropriately.
Sending Forth (2 minutes). End by praying the following or a similar prayer:
Almighty God, part of your call for us to pray is a reminder that we are in a dependent relationship with you. We acknowledge that we don’t always know the words to pray and that even our most articulate prayers are requests or petitions for your healing presence that would form us into your beloved community. Amen.
- Discipleship Ministries
- Disciples Living Generously teaching series
- Basics of Faith Formation teaching series
- Engaging Your Community: A Guide to Seeing All the People
- Forming Disciples Through Worship
- How to Have a Courageous Conversation teaching series
- "How to Start Small Groups"
- "Making the Most of Online Small Groups"
- Soul Reset: Breakdown, Breakthrough, and the Journey to Wholeness