You can be creative in how you collect prayer requests by trying one of these ideas:
- Assign a group member to write down each person's prayer requests on a board or large piece of paper for all to see. You can break into smaller groups, assigning specific requests to each group, or pause after each request is shared to pray as a large group.
- Do a prayer exchange by inviting people to bring pictures or letters from missionaries they support or children they sponsor. Take a few moments for those who brought information to tell something about each item, then trade the pictures or letters among group members.
- Pray for the world combining a globe or map, prayer requests from The Global Prayer Movement website , or other international resources, such as Operation World, a global prayer almanac published by WEC International. It will expand your vision for what God is doing elsewhere.
- Use pictures from magazines, newspapers or materials like Soularium. Spread out the pictures, have everyone choose one that best represents their request, and give each person the opportunity to explain the connection between the image and their need before praying.
- Pray for the persecuted church worldwide. Open Doors USA is an organization that provides important information about Christians who suffer for their beliefs and offers various ways to gather prayer requests.
Add variety to praying for gathered requests by considering different methods of prayer:
- Conversational Prayer is praying as if you are having a discussion between all of you and God. Each prayer is brief, maybe a few sentences at a time, and related to what the person before said. This method works best between people who already know one another.
- Sentence Prayers, praying only one sentence at a time, creates a more interactive environment for a group. By limiting the words you speak, you open your mind and heart to what God is saying to others. This method can be combined with Popcorn Prayer, members praying aloud following no particular pattern or order.
- Korean-style Prayer, modeled after the commonly used method in Korea to pray out loud simultaneously, expands your vision of how God hears our prayers. It is a tangible experience of how He can listen to every prayer given at every moment from a limitless number of people.
- Prayer Walking gets you active and in the area you are praying for. With open eyes, you see the needs of the people and the area in order to pray more specifically for them.
- Prayer Acrostics are step-by-step guides to your prayer time. Two examples are ACTS (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication) and PRAY (Praise, Repent, Ask for others, and Y our own needs).
In the end, it's not which method you use that's important.
“Prayer is difficult. It is not the techniques that are hard-most of the techniques are amusingly easy. Rather the difficulty lies in following through on the commitment to pray in the face of distractions that bear down on us or pick at us like annoying bugs, driving us away from the presence of God,”
— Daniel Wolpert in his book Creating a Life with God.
The greater value lies in taking regular time to go to the Lord in prayer.