DISCUSS your experience with the contemplative prayer practices. Use the questions below
for discussion starters if needed:
ASSIGNMENT: Spend next week doing yet another new set of prayer practices: Intercessory Prayer. Click through the slideshow below for an introduction to intercessory prayer and a practice guide for the week.
Introduction to Intercessory Prayer
By Jake Thurston
“Intercessory” seems like a big fancy word to describe prayer—but it’s a word Christians have used for this type of prayer for hundreds of years. Intercession means to intervene, or to come between two people to help them out. So intercession, or intercessory prayer, is when we stand in between two people—another person and God.
Prayer is not just a conversation where we tell God our personal requests, nor is prayer just a time of sitting in God’s presence. Prayer is a way to call God to action on behalf of other people. This is why we share prayer requests. Prayer requests are things we ask someone else to pray for. When you and your discipler prayed for one another at your last meeting, that was practicing intercessory prayer! However, people don’t need to share a prayer request for us to pray for them. We can pray for other people whenever we want!
Before you practice intercessory prayer this week, here are the key parts of praying for other people:
Identify a person or people. This could be a person, like a spouse, child, friend, co-worker, or friend of a coworker of a friend; or it can be a group of people, like a family, team, church body, city, or an entire nation!
Identify a problem. What is the person or people struggling with? The flu? Confusion with a work project? Pain from a surgery? An addiction they can’t break? Racial injustice in the country? A war in another country?
Identify a solution. What is a solution the person or people need to help their problem? A vaccine for the flu? Clarity for the project? A speedy recovery and healing? Friends to help break the addiction? Harmony across all racial backgrounds? Peace in the foreign country?
Present it to God. Take what you identified from the first 3 questions, and then package it in a prayer request to God. It can look like this: “God, help my friend (person) get the vaccine (solution) she needs to heal from her sickness (problem).” Or, “Jesus, my spouse (person) is very confused on a project for work (problem). Could you give her clarity (solution) on the project she’s working on? She needs your peace (solution).
Discipleship : Meeting 3
Review the practices you experimented with this week. What did you do?
What surprised you the most about these practices?
What was the hardest part about these practices? For example: Was there a recurring distraction? Did you feel uncomfortable sitting still for a couple minutes? Were you discouraged that you didn’t meet God in a way you were expecting?
What do the difficulties and struggles with contemplative prayer reveal about our prayer lives?
How could you see contemplative prayer benefiting your everyday life?
What are some intentional things you can do to help you with your contemplative prayers next time?