The Problem with Prayer Requests | Pray Without Ceasing Tip of the Week

I met with a full-blown ray of sunshine yesterday! As it turns out, the teacher I’m replacing at my new school is merely moving into the classroom next door to teach fourth grade. She graciously agreed to meet me for lunch so I could pick her brain and get a handle on how to organize and manage a multi-grade special needs class.

We’re both the friendly, talkative sort, so we probably could have sat there for hours and not run out of things to say. But it’s not nice to take a new friend hostage and expect her to chat all day.

We got to know each other a bit, but the main agenda was to talk shop. I learned so much from her, and I left our lunch date excited to put her words of advice into action.

That’s how I like to feel when I leave a Bible study class. Yes, I want to chew the fat a bit and get to know the people in the group, but my main objective is to “talk shop.” To dig into that big, beautiful Book of Truth and to learn from the teacher and the other class members’ insights. I want to walk away from the class with spiritual nuggets I can wrestle with and put into action. I want to leave the class excited about what I learned.

Here lies the problem with sharing prayer requests. If the class has more than a handful of people, the bulk of the class time can be taken up going around and sharing prayer requests leaving the teacher only a few minutes to facilitate the lesson. There has to be a better way.

Here are a few ideas that come to mind, and I’d love to hear how your Bible study group incorporates prayer into the schedule.

  • Pass a prayer request sheet around where class members can jot down requests. This cuts down on unnecessary back story and accidental gossip. The list can be prayed over at the end of class and distributed to the class for continued prayer during the week.
  • Spend the first few minutes in corporate prayer where each member with a prayer need can lift that need straight to God. One class member can act as a recorder and email the list to the class. Time that was spent talking about the need could be used actually praying for the need.
  • I love this one from Women’s Ministry Toolbox. Have a basket of note cards where members can grab a card and write down requests. Completed cards are gathered and members take one card to pray over all week.
  • Periodically scrap the Bible study lesson altogether and spend the entire time in fervent prayer.
  • Create a Facebook or GroupMe group where prayer requests can be shared during the week. One person can pass on the needs to the non-techy people in the group.
  • Listen to the Holy Spirit. If a member walks in with a heavy burden, drop everything and fight for them in prayer.

Prayer is an important way to get to know God and each other, but studying the Word of God is equally vital. Let’s ask God to help us use our limited time wisely.

Lord, help us be excellent stewards of our group Bible study times so we can walk out fired up and ready to apply Your truth. Show us how to balance fellowship, prayer and study. In Jesus’ name I ask, AMEN

How does your Bible study handle prayer requests? Share your ideas in the comments. I’ll choose a random commenter from the blog or Facebook page to win a prayer journal.


Screensaver Prayers| Pray Without Ceasing Tip of the Week

Every time I open my laptop, the smiling faces of my sweet sons greet me. Aren’t screensavers the best? This morning, I sensed the Spirit say, “What if you prayed for your boys every time you saw that picture?”

What if  I did? I am on this computer at least three times a day. Blogging, surfing FB, paying bills, lesson planning, googling weight loss tips, avoiding Trump’s tweets. Imagine all the prayer ground I could cover for my babies if I paused and prayed every time I opened this contraption?

Perfect example of the pray without ceasing life. When Paul exhorts us to “pray without ceasing” in I Thessalonians 5:17 (NKJV), I’m pretty sure he didn’t mean for us to kneel bedside 24/7. So what did he mean? God desires a 24/7 relationship with us. He wants us to talk to Him about, well, everything! Imagine that, people! The God of Everything wants to wants us to talk to Him about everything.

Since attaching my heart to the idea of praying continually, God gave me this idea I call “mental monuments,” visual reminders to pray about specific things. My screensaver prayers for my sons falls into this category. It’s about being intentional, observant, aware of what’s around me. It’s about seeing those things we see every day in a different light. An eternal light. A pray without ceasing spotlight.

How many electronic devices to you use? I have a computer, a smartphone, and a tablet. While my boys’ picture is a fixture on my computer, I think I’m going to use my smartphone home page as place where I can put a picture of someone with an urgent need for prayer. You know, someone who just lost a loved one or someone battling cancer or someone desperately seeking a job.

Anyone who knows me knows I’m joined at the hip with my phone, so if God nudges me to make you my screensaver, you can bet your last buck you’ll get prayed for a bunch! Hey, there has to be some silver lining to being addicted to your phone, right?

What do you think, friends? What do you think about turning your screensavers into neon signs that say, “PRAY!”  If you’re up for this prayer adventure, leave a comment and let me know who’s on your screensaver. I’d love to pray with you.