The summer after our online prayer course officially released, I was craving community. (Kara, here!) We had recently started going to a new church and I hoped that asking some gals from my small group to do the prayer course with me would be a good start.
Friendship is a bonus, but we also believe the best accountability to actually pray is to invite friends to come alongside you. When we created our online prayer course, one of the dreams we had for it was that groups of people would do it together. And it’s been exciting to see that actually happening!
When you go through the prayer course as a group, you’ll be invited to discuss the things holding you back, bounce ideas off each other for what habits and methods you’d like to try, and actually PRAY together. (This may feel scary to you right now, but we have a whole module dedicated to how to overcome these fears in the course!)
Here are some suggestions I have based on my experience getting a group together a couple of summers ago!
1. GET OUT THERE AND ASK PEOPLE.
It’s easy for us to assume that nobody has the time or that they would have asked first if they wanted to hang out, but here’s a secret—that’s exactly what “they” are thinking too. Be the person that makes the first move! Start by identifying the obvious asks, like a best friend or sister, but don’t stop there. I put out an open invitation for anyone in my small group. What groups are you already a part of that might benefit? Co-workers, family members, neighbors, and casual acquaintances at church are all people to consider. We’ve even had a group of married couples go through the course together!
2. DETERMINE THE GOAL OF THE GROUP.
Do you want to grow in the knowledge of prayer? Have more consistent prayer time? Grow your passion? Establish an ongoing group that will pray together? Minister to others in your church who aren’t as familiar with prayer? There are a lot of ways to use the course in a group. It may be the perfect summer study (9 weeks!) to jumpstart a fall group that continues to meet and pray with one another. When you pre-order Val’s new book, you’ll eventually receive a guide for ongoing prayer groups that would be the perfect conclusion to the prayer course.
3. HAVE SNACKS.
I grew up in church with the idea that food = fellowship. Food has a way of opening up the room like nothing else. Casual conversation begins as you reach for a spoon or comment on how wonderful the brownies smell. And your group starts feeling loved and cared for right off the bat! People are usually glad to share the responsibility, so you might have a little sign-up list at your first meeting. On the last night of our study, we actually had a potluck and it was such a fun way to celebrate our journey together!
4. YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE A “LEADER”.
Not everyone likes to talk in front of people, that’s okay! In order to get this group going, you really just have to be able to push the “play” button on Val’s videos and ask the discussion questions at the end. To make it even easier on yourself, ask a talkative friend to lead the discussion or write each discussion question on a strip of paper beforehand and take turns asking!
5. THE GROUP WILL GO AS DEEP AS YOU LET IT.
If you really want to see heart change through this course, it’s going to take intentionality. You don’t need to bring an interrogation light in, but vulnerability is key. Be prepared to share what’s really going on in your heart, knowing that it’s probably a similar struggle for at least one if not all the people in the room! I’ve recently learned a good way to go deeper in any discussion. When you ask a question, try to ask a follow-up question. That might go like this:
Person 1 – What is your biggest struggle in prayer?
Person 2 – My biggest struggle is that I feel like I have no time to make it happen.
Person 1 – (to the group) What suggestions do y’all have for how to make time for prayer?
You don’t have to be the leader to ask these kinds of follow-up questions, just a group member that desires to see people grow!
Getting excited about getting a group together?? Our online prayer course is on sale for $99 this week only! Going in as a group is the best way because you can split up the price of the course. One physical workbook comes with the purchase of a course, but you can grab extras in the shop. Use the codes 3ORMORE or 10ORMORE to save when you’re buying in bulk. 🙂
REGULAR PRICE: $125 | SALE PRICE: $99 (TODAY-May 21)
GET THE COURSE HERE!!
This post is written by Kara Bryant, Chief Marketing Officer for Val Marie Paper.