Praying for Others

Letters from God

  • Organize the group into pairs, and have each pair share:
  • Something that fills them with praise for God
  • Something they want to thank God for
  • Someone they are praying for (being sure to protect confidentiality)
  • Something they would like someone to pray for themselves
  • A hope that they have

As they share, have them jot down some notes about what their partner says. Then have each individual write a letter from God to his or her partner, using the information they have gleaned.

Point out that, of course, they are not God, but that they can ask the Holy Spirit for inspiration, and can use words from the Bible and other sources to encourage and strengthen their partners and let them know how much God cares for them and their concerns.

Have the partners exchange letters and pray a short prayer for each other.

Pocket prayer reminders 

A week before introducing this prayer activity, have each class member find a small object that represents a prayer request that they have. The object needs to be small enough to fit in someone’s pocket or purse. For example:

  • Prayer request for a new home (toy building block)
  • Prayer for an exam (tiny pencil)
  • Prayer for money (foreign or toy coin)
  • Prayer for health (bandage strip)

On the day of the activity, have each class member show their object to the group and explain their prayer request. If someone hasn’t brought an object, have them write a word on an index card or give them a piece of knotted string as a prayer reminder. When everyone has had a turn, encourage each class member to choose someone they would like to pray for.

They then receive the other person’s object to keep in their pocket as a reminder to pray for the request as often as they can during the week.

At the end of the week, return the objects to the original owners or swap again. Invite group members to share the results of these prayers with the group.

The objects may be displayed in a basket or on a bulletin board, with the stories of answered prayers written next to them.

Special prayer basket 

If someone in the class needs some special encouragement and prayer, maybe because they are ill, facing hardships, or experiencing a loss, have the group create a special basket or box of encouragement to share with him or her.

Choose a person and spend a time in silent prayer for him or her. Encourage each member of the group to put themselves in the position of the person for whom they are praying and to consider more deeply what his or her needs may be.

Then invite all to choose a symbolic object that could represent a prayer, a Bible verse, or a message of encouragement for the person being prayed for.

Each member of the group is responsible for finding the object, wrapping it up, and labeling it with a short message of encouragement, e.g., a tiny teddy bear could be given to remind someone that God would like to give them a hug.

Then deliver the prayer basket to the person.

Prayer in action 

Assign the group to choose someone in the church who is facing challenges in their life and to combine prayers with practical action.

Ask the person what they would find most helpful in their circumstances and then do whatever you can as a group to fulfill their needs.

Perhaps a bag of groceries each week would help someone who is out of work, or you could arrange babysitting for a single parent, or offer rides to someone who has to make regular hospital visits, or contriute money toward sending someone away for a weekend retreat.

Group prayer list 

Create a monthly prayer list that includes each person in the class and a specific prayer request that they have.

Circulate the list to the whole class and invite each person to pray for the others.

Alternatively, you could use email to send prayer request lists to the group and to have these regularly updated.

After a while you can add when prayers have been answered, and then add new requests, too. When the group is actively praying for each other, they will grow closer together.

Karen Holford
© 2006 General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists