Friday, June 12

Conversational Prayer

Over the years of working with house/simple churches one of the most meaningful aspects of our gatherings are the prayer times. We encourage church planters to vary group prayer times so that they are more participatory. One of these is conversational prayer.

*Conversational Prayer:
  • Acknowledge God’s presence in the group. Praise and adoration is always good to help focus the group on communicating with the Lord.

  • Pray short prayers of one, two or three sentences.

  • Pray about one subject, idea or person at a time until everyone has shared as much and as often as prompted by the Spirit.

  • Be reluctant to change the subject as you would in any conversation until everyone is finished with it.

  • Times of silence can give the timid and the thoughtful time to contribute.

  • The more the conversation with God is passed around the group the deeper the intimacy grows. In time a small group becomes totally unified and purely transparent.

  • Watch God’s love flow freely, lives transform and answers to prayer abound.
*I am not sure who first sent me these suggestions for conversational prayer, but they have worked well for us over the years. I am thinking it may have been Gail Graves or John White. Anyway, whoever sent them, thanks!

8 comments:

Emma Major said...

thanks for a really good definition of conversational prayer. I look forward to using it again sometime soon, it was common in our home group and then slipped out again.
Emma

GuyMuse said...

Emma,

I think one of the reasons it is so hard for the church to make prayer the priority it should be, is due to the ruts we have fallen into. Too often we fail to pray, not because we don't think it important, but because we are needing more inclusive ways of involving everyone else in the praying, instead of the same 2-3 who always do the bulk of public praying in our meetings.

Michelle Ann said...

Another very powerful type of group prayer is the "popcorn" method where people offer up one sentence "thank you's" to God as they are feel led. It's amazing the things that God places upon our hearts to simply THANK Him for. You find yourself thanking Him for hot water, the meal on your table, special people in your life, etc... I've always loved this kind of prayer and it can be used as a means of confession as well.

GuyMuse said...

Michelle,

SI, el método de oración "canguil" también sabemos usar y es muy bueno! In our training we try to teach at least one different method each session. The "popcorn" is one of their favorites--as is mine!

Anonymous said...

Since this is the first doubter listed I'd like to begin here:-
"...accountability and proper doctrine would be my two red flags"

Correct me if I'm wrong but I believe it's what God says that counts - not what I think or presume. Except for God, who can say what is or is not "proper doctrine"? Does the person that wrote these words seriously think they have it all wrapped up? If so, then tell us what is "proper doctrine". Is it the pablam that is spouted from most pulpits every Sunday that tells us how wonderful we are and how God is just about our servant to be ordered around by our every whim and desire? Or is it the doctrine that just never rocks the boat, that's tailored to the cultured ears of the big tithers?

The doctrine of God when mixed with faith will change people from Adam to Christ(like-ness.) And yet in His "supposed" church today we see more ways of the "kosmos" world than of the kingdom of heaven. The conclusion I come to is that something must be wrong - with the most likely culprit being the doctrine we're taught.

The doctrine of God the Father is hidden and must be revealed by the Holy Spirit. Pastors and teachers cannot reveal these truths to us. Even Jesus said "and they shall all be taught of God". We desperately need to know the truth so we can be set free of the lies and darkness the flesh binds us to.

Proof of this is found in Mt 16 where Jesus asks His disciples who they say He is, with the impulsive Simon Peter blurting out "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God." While Peter is most likely wondering to himself where on earth those words came from Jesus interrupts his thoughts in verse 17 with:- "Blessed art thou Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed unto thee, but My Father which is in heaven."

This is interesting! Jesus says Simon is blessed because 1) God the Father taught him this and 2) Man did NOT teach him this.

This is a divine endorsement of DOCTRINE. Jesus is saying "THIS is the doctrine you must be listening to, not the doctrine that man teaches. But Jesus continues.

In verse 18 He says, "And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church;"

What rock? Why is Jesus calling Peter this rock? Well, we know Jesus in John 1:42 calls Peter Cephas which, in Strong's means (kephas) the rock. Whether Jesus was prophesying Peter's ministry, we don't really know. However, we know that out of Peter "flowed" many words. He was the one disciple that was never shy to open his mouth. We know also water by it's cleansing action is symbolic of the word of God. And doctrine, or teaching comes about through the use of words. Bear with me and you'll see what I'm getting at.

Now to Matthew 7:24 Jesus again informs us that if we're wise we will build our house upon a rock (petra this time, not kephas.) Why? Because rain, floods and winds will blow against "our house" and if it's not built on the rock it will fall.

Anonymous said...

So what are the rain, floods & winds? PROPER DOCTRINE taught me they were the trials of life. But that's odd, though, because I thought trials are designed by God to draw us closer to and make us more dependent upon Him rather than destroy us. So I would say this is not true, the rain, floods and winds cannot be trials. One only has to read a little earlier in the chapter, let's say from verse 13 onwards and we can see clearly this passage teaches us about DOCTRINE, false doctrine in particular. Rain (Joel 2:23 - doctrine to prepare God's people), floods(Rev 12:15 - lying doctrine from the devil's mouth to destroy God's woman) and winds(Eph 4:14 - wind of doctrine) refer to the massive amounts of false teaching pouring out from the mouths of the devil's envoys and false prophets who pack the so-called "church", speaking their minds and teaching men to believe everything and anything about themselves as long as it is not the truth that is revealed from above. The rain, floods and winds is the DOCTRINE of the sand (man's uncohesive doctrine, not God's.) The doctrine of the rock is God's DOCTRINE.

If you're wondering what I'm talking about the punch line is yet to come. The key to all this is found in Ex 17:6. The people of Israel had just confronted Moses saying "Wherefore this thou hast brought us up out of Egypt to kill us and our children and our cattle with thirst?" Without water in the desert they are all facing a certain death sentence. And God's answer to Moses was a rock out of which flowed LIFE-GIVING WATER (the true DOCTRINE of God.)

There are many churches out there but two in particular. Jesus' (My) church and the false church. Jesus said "I will build My church", He also said He would build it "upon this rock", in other words His church will be comprised of people who drink of the water from the rock - the revealed word of God alone and not what is taught by man. Just look at the statistics in Matthew 7 and how wide the path is that leads to destruction and how many there be upon it and how narrow the path to life and how few that actually FIND it.

If you still doubt what I say here are two more verses: 1 Cor 10:4 "And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that rock was Christ." Christ is also called the WORD, He is the spiritual doctrine that comes down from above. He said come unto Me all ye that thirst and drink freely. He said if we drink of the water He gives we will never thirst again and we will have everlasting life. How many more times do we have to hear it before we get it?

In Daniel chapter 2 the king of Babylon dreams a dream which God reveals to Daniel in a vision with the interpretation. I won't go into the details except to say that it was a STONE cut out without hands (no human action) which smote the image (the rule of man upon the earth) and completely destroyed it so that it never rose again. Meanwhile the stone grew and grew until it filled the whole earth. Again the stone represents the doctrine of God which alone can put an end to the strength and kingdom of man upon earth so that finally Rom 8:19 comes to pass.

Anonymous said...

I believe we must keep in mind Psalm 110:1,2 that Jesus remains seated at the right hand of the Father UNTIL His enemies (also ours since we are His body) be made His footstool. He's waiting for us to manifest and we can only manifest through His divine intervention.

This is why Jesus says "Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed unto thee, but My Father which is in heaven."

I pray that those reading will be encouraged to seek the waters that "be above" that flow from the throne of God and of the Lamb and that are "clear as crystal". Leave the muddy waters of Jordan (descending) that flow from Adam down to the dead (salt, sterile) sea (Jos 3:16)

Each of us must decide which DOCTRINE we allow our ears to hear. Once we have tasted that which is from above we can never go back to anything less. As Peter replied to the Lord, "where would we go, you have the words of life?" As to what is PROPER DOCTRINE, I pray we're a little wiser now to make that decision with confidence.

GuyMuse said...

Anon.,

Thank you for encouraging us to seek the waters that "be above" that flow from the throne of God and of the Lamb and that are "clear as crystal".

You share some interesting insights about doctrine. I agree with you that there is a lot of confusion out there, and much that is touted as "doctrine" is nothing more than man spouting his opinions.

Just out of curiosity, what made you share your thoughts about doctrine here on this post about conversational prayer? Is there an intended connection between the two?