A Proper Understanding of Group Prayer

It's the end of your group's Bible study time. Almost with a cringe (because you've become conditioned to what's about to transpire for the next 30 seconds or 30 minutes), you say something like: "Okay, time to shift into our prayer time. Anybody got anything we need to be lifting up this week?"

What follows is either:

1.  A colossally awkward silence where you are thinking: Really? Nothing? Are your people dead inside? And your group members are thinking: Really? Share serious life stuff with everyone here? Are you stupid inside?

2.  A verbal cascade of prayer requests lasting 12 minutes each with tears, laughter, gossip, and maybe a little anger all wound up into such a mess that you have no idea what the bombardier who started this raid actually wants you to pray for.

Finally, after the awkward silence or the monologues, you say something like, "Who will close us in prayer?" This leads to a single prayer, probably by the unfortunate soul who made eye contact with you when you asked that question, and it lasts about 30 seconds. "God thanks for letting us meet, be with all the stuff we just talked about for 30 minutes, keep us safe this week, amen. No wait-in Jesus' name, amen.

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