Discussing with a few people the demise of the prayer meeting the other day, I was struck by a thought. The problem is with our home groups. One of the main reasons that you won’t seem many people at traditional prayer meetings is that they have been replaced by Home Groups.
The problem is that your average home group is actually a Bible study group. There is a lengthy study with questions (often from a book) and quite often pooled confusion. I have often wondered how helpful this is.
- People have already heard at least one sermon with meaty application on Sunday and possibly two.
- They have probably been engaged in personal Bible study during their quiet time.
- They come in to the group after an intensive day/half a week at work. They are exhausted and not concentrating too well (this problem has become more overtly apparent on Zoom during lockdown).
So, here is an idea. What if our small groups stopped being Bible study groups and became genuine home groups for fellowship, encouragement, prayer and mission together.
What if an evening looked like this
- People coming together for food and conversation -catching up on news and how their week is going
- A SHORT devotion revisiting the sermon topic and application from Sunday
- Revisiting the conversation topics in the light of God’s Word leading to testimony and specific prayer requests
- Opportunity to pray together for each other
- Further sharing of what God has laid on individuals’ hearts
- Sharing of church and missionary news
- Prayer for the church and for wider mission
The result is that we would spend more time in prayer together. There would be greater opportunity to share in one another’s lives and more time to pray for the work of the Gospel.