Praying Together in Groups
Prayer needs to be the bedrock underpinning all the group does. When praying in the group, it is especially important that the different Christian traditions represented by group members are respected and reflected in how you pray. Some may be prefer silent prayer, others praying out loud either one at a time, or praying out loud together. Vary the type of prayer used, and ensure through discussion and feedback, that all are comfortable. Larger groups can be split into smaller ones to pray.
Topics for prayer might include: the leadership of the workplace/organisation, the staff of the workplace/organisation, the success and growth of the workplace/organisation, any issues that face the organisation at the time, needs of colleagues – both Christians and non-Christians, growth in the group, needs of members of the group, asking God to reveal what He is calling the group to do
Thy Kingdom Come
Thy Kingdom Come is a global prayer movement that invites Christians around the world to pray for more people to come to know Jesus. What started in 2016 as an invitation from the Archbishops of Canterbury and York to the Church of England has grown into an international and ecumenical call to prayer. A key focus is an annual call to prayer between Ascension Day and Pentecost, echoing the period of prayer that the disciples of Jesus held after He left them and prior to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. In 2021, this period is from 13th – 23rd May.
How to Pray for Your Workplace
During the eleven days of Thy Kingdom Come you might be wondering how to best pray for your workplace and your organisation. If you are the only Christian that you are aware of in your organisation or if you are part of a Christian Workplace Group it doesn’t matter – the ideas below are applicable to both.
For some people, your workplace will be online, maybe during a period of self-isolation. This could be a new experience and may provide opportunities to come together online in prayer for the first time. There are many easy to use online tools which you could use to pray together including WhatsApp, Zoom and Skype. One person needs to book a call and invite others to join – very similar to a physical room.
HOW CAN I GET INVOLVED?
Some groups have held healing meetings, where someone who is acknowledged as having a healing ministry, (usually from outside the group) is invited to the organisation, probably during the lunch hour or during the group’s normal meeting time. The person can be invited to speak, introduce their ministry and then to pray for people who have illnesses and wish to be prayed for. Another way is to simply allow those who come to be prayed for one-by-one by the healing minister. Clearly, care must be taken with advertising and with proper explanations of what is happening for those who might not be familiar with this type of ministry.
If advertised well, this can also be an excellent outreach event. When held at one CWG, several who were not Christians attended!
Remember that it is important to keep your managers and HR involved in what you are doing. In most cases your prayer activities and the means by which you advertise them will require permission from senior managers and HR. Make sure that you discuss what you want to do first, not after the event!
Post a Prayer
The following is adapted from an item in Network Rail’s Multi-Faith Network Newsletter:
The Christians in a Network Rail facility in Paddington placed postboxes in the kitchen areas so that if anyone would like some prayer, they can write a prayer request on the pad and post it.
The Christians in the office collect the prayers each Thursday lunchtime and pray for them at their weekly meeting. Everyone is invited to post a prayer whether they are Christian, a member of another faith, or have no faith of their own. The scheme has been operational for just over a month and there has been such a good uptake that they are looking to roll out Post a Prayer to other offices in the country.
Prayer Conference Calls
Frequently an organisation has Christian groups that meet in buildings in different locations, often some distance from one another. In order to pray for issues across the organisation, it is helpful for Christians from the various sites to come together to pray. One way this can be done, without the need for taking time to travel, is by using ‘speakerphones’, where the caller’s voice can be put on loudspeaker for all in the room to hear, and the phone picks up the voices of all in the room. This type of phone is quite common nowadays. If mobile phones are allowed in your workplace, mobiles set on speaker mode can also be used. If the organisation’s procedures allow it, Skype could even be used!
Detailed discussion and interaction is often more difficult when you can’t see other people’s faces. It is helpful therefore to have a leader appointed to coordinate a time of prayer like this and perhaps to circulate the topics for prayer beforehand. We know of situations where this has been immensely encouraging when done between groups even in different countries!
We all need to practice our praying habit and practice praying regularly! The Christian Workplace Group in the London Borough of Harinegy have recently started a ‘Prayer Gym’ which helps its members do exactly that!
On the first and third Mondays of the month, the group meets at the ‘Prayer Gym’ to exercise and flex their spiritual muscles for an hour, in the evening from 5 – 6 pm.
Various topics are used for prayer – the ‘Word for Today’ devotional prayer points, issues in the news, pressing local or group needs or more general prayer needs.
All they do for an hour is PRAY!
What an inspiration! Prayer is not boring – it’s dynamic, exciting and it CHANGES THINGS! It’s so uplifting to be talking to God in prayer! Let’s all follow the Haringey Christian Workplace Group example and head off to the ‘Prayer Gym’ regularly!
Prayer Request System
Set up a facility for anyone within the organisation/workplace to request prayer for any issues they would like. This could be done via an intranet site, where a mechanism could be provided for people to e-mail prayer requests confidentially to a prayer coordinator. Depending on the nature of the workplace, it could also be done by placing a prayer request box in an appropriate position – accessible but not too prominent so as to preserve privacy.
It is vitally important that such prayer requests are dealt with in strict confidence and in a timely manner.
Generally prayer walks can be used when you are praying for the organisation, for the work that goes on there, and for its employees. It is an immensely powerful experience to walk the ground of the area you are praying for, while you are praying! There are many stories of how God has answered the prayers of those who have ‘walked ground’.
Find significant areas of your organisation’s site, or buildings, for example corridors with offices or open plan offices, and walk through them slowly, as individuals or small groups (a maximum of say 3 or 4), praying silently as you go. Pray a blessing on all who are working there. As God brings to your attention things to pray for, then bring them before him. Listen for God to speak as you walk.
Remember to respect access limitations, and activities going on in the areas through which you are walking.
Week of Prayer
A week of prayer is a specific week set aside for prayer where a range of different prayer activities are held. Although this probably works best among the larger groups, the idea can be applied within a group whatever the size.
It helps if a week of prayer has a theme, which is sufficiently broad that it can be broken down into areas for each meeting. The theme might be for: the work of the organisation, the area in which it is located, a situation of particular concern, or something the group is seeking breakthrough for. Christian in Government and Christians in Parliament hold an annual week of prayer to pray for Government, Parliament and the Nation.
In a week of prayer, try, if you can, to include an event on each day of the week. Lunchtime prayer meetings, in different locations, are usually the core of the week. Other activities can include a prayer breakfast, a meeting devoted to listening to God, an evening session after work with worship and perhaps a guest speaker, prayer walks around strategic locations, and a particular emphasis on any of the other prayer-related activities on these pages. Try to vary the activities and times as much as possible so that as many as possible can attend meetings. Of course, not everyone would be expected to attend all the meetings during the week.
Good planning and early communication are essential! Keep the arrangements as simple as possible.