By Cyndee Ownbey
“Would you like to join our prayer group?”
The question wasn’t one I was expecting to hear from Kim. To be honest, I wanted to answer no and run in the other direction, but I knew in my heart this was something God wanted me to say yes to.
Kim, Becki, and I all attended the same Sunday school class. We knew each other fairly well, but this was new territory for me. I’d never been a part of a prayer group. I wasn’t sure what to expect.
The first time we met they gave me permission not to pray at all. I didn’t. I was so overwhelmed and unsure that I sat and listened and wept. It was beautiful and humbling. Their posture before our Lord was something I desperately wanted to emulate.
They used the ACTS (adoration, confession, thanksgiving, supplication) method as their framework, adding specific personal requests and prayers for our church. We recorded our requests each week so we could pray for the needs throughout the week and so we could look back to see how God answered our prayers. (These spiral prayer journals here and here provide lots of space for recording prayers and prayer requests.)
The Benefits of Praying Together in Unity
I’m so thankful for that safe space to learn to pray with other women. We met weekly for about four years before the Lord moved us out of state. Our numbers ebbed and flowed as other women moved in and out of our group. Our meetings moved from Kim’s home to a small room at church that we were able to transform into a prayer room.
I hated to miss a weekly meeting. That time in prayer helped to anchor my soul to God and his Word. The longer we prayed together the more the Holy Spirit wove our prayers together as only he can.
My friendships with each woman grew deeper because of our time in prayer together. When my dad was diagnosed with a brain tumor and I ran out of words to pray, these women stood the in gap. When I shared my questions and worries about my dad’s salvation, they prayed God would send someone to share the Gospel with him. It wasn’t until weeks after my dad’s passing that I found out that those prayers had been answered.
I discovered a secret of prayer all those years ago that I’ve not forgotten. God uses our time in prayer with other believers to unite us. Our spirits become yoked together as we lift the same requests before God. My burdens didn’t feel as heavy once I shared them with our prayer group. Waiting on God to answer a prayer became easier knowing that other women were making the same request.
Matthew 18:20 tells us, “For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them” (ESV). As believers we know God is always present, but there’s a sweetness to his presence when we gather with other believers to pray.
How to Start a Women’s Prayer Group
If you’ve never had the chance to experience that blessing firsthand, I pray God will provide an opportunity soon.
Whether or not God is calling you to participate in a prayer group, the benefits of praying together can be enjoyed anytime we pray with other believers.
Are you inviting your women to pray together during your women’s ministry meetings? Our women’s ministry team is intentionally including opportunities for prayer at our women’s ministry events this year. This spring and summer we’re offering training to help our women become more comfortable with praying with others. We want them to experience the beautiful unity that comes from time in prayer together.
May God help us to know how to cultivate unity through prayer in our women’s ministry programs.
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