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.

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4 thoughts on “The Problem with Prayer Requests | Pray Without Ceasing Tip of the Week

  1. Heidi July 11, 2017 at 9:34 am

    In my Monday evening Bible study, we email prayer requests and update them by passing a paper around occasionally. I love how the focus remains on studying the Word because of this.

    • leebirdmerrill July 11, 2017 at 4:24 pm

      Great idea, friend!

  2. Cyndee July 11, 2017 at 3:25 pm

    Lee, thank you for including my prayer tip on your list! đŸ™‚ Here’s another way to collect prayer requests. When I was in BSF (Bible Study Fellowship) the group leaders were responsible for collecting prayer requests during the week. It was a great opportunity to touch base with every member of the group. Some weeks we got a phone call, others an email, and others a text. She then brought a typed list of the requests and passed them out at the very end of our discussion time. She usually read them out loud to the group and said a quick prayer before we headed out for our teaching lesson. We were trained submit prayer requests that were personal and specific to our family or life situation. That personal connection each week helped keep us accountable and bolstered our attendance.

    • leebirdmerrill July 11, 2017 at 4:24 pm

      Thanks, Cyndee! That’s a great idea!

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