The Strategic Power of Prayer (and Prayer Requests) for Sunday School and Group Leaders

Prayer-webIf you want your class to grow, both numerically and spiritually, then you have to be a leader who prays.  Prayer helps us to realize that we cannot do what we’re called to do all on our own.  Prayer helps us to admit to ourselves and confess to God that the ministry we need to do cannot be done without his intervening power and work.  We need Him to work for our ministry to be what He wants it to be.

Here are a few prayer strategies that will help you minister to your class.  You may already do some of these things.  If so, be encouraged by these good reminders:

  1. Take prayer requests in class, and write them down.

The chances of you remembering to pray for their requests later go way up when you commit to write them down every week.

  1. Commit to regular prayer for your class.

Once you’ve written them down you’ll be able to pray for them later on in the week.  Choose at least one day a week to pray for those requests.  It would be best to pray for them every day, but doing something is better than doing nothing.  Set a reminder somewhere and pray!  You can’t take people to places you have never been.  If you want a praying class, then you need to be a praying leader.

  1. Follow up on the requests.

Remembering prayer requests that the people in your class have, praying for them, and then following up with them regarding their prayer requests can be an incredible way to say to those in your class that you care about them.  Have you ever had someone come up to you and ask you about a specific prayer need that you had previously mentioned?  Have you ever caught someone praying for you?  There are very few people who would not be encouraged by knowing that someone had been praying for them and thinking about them.  You may be amazed at what a 5 minute phone call would do to encourage someone.  A text or an email asking them about their job search, a sickness, or the lost son or daughter, can speak volumes about your love for them.  It may be difficult to do this with everyone in the class, but picking out one or two people a week follow up with can have a profound effect on the class.

  1. Pray one-on-one.

Did you know that you can pray with someone over the phone?  You can also pray with them in between the rows between services, or before class in your room.  When someone tells you, “Hey, please pray for my _____________…”, one way you can respond is, “Let’s pray right now!”  I have been blessed by hearing people I love pray for me by name and out loud.  You will be a blessing to others when you do that for them.

  1. Pray for the lost in your class.

One way you can tell that a class has an inward or outward focus is to listen to their prayer requests.  One of the ways that you can help begin to foster an evangelistic spirit in your class is to pray for those who need Christ.  Periodically, try a week of only taking prayer requests regarding people your class knows who are lost.  If they won’t pray for lost people you’ll have a hard time convincing them to talk to lost people about the gospel.

  1. Celebrate answered prayer.

Prayer works!  When you see God work make sure to communicate it to the class.  Thank God publically through prayer each week for what He has done!  It will help the faith of your class to recognize God working among you.

Do any of you have any other ideas in regards to prayer and your classes?  Please share!

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