Last night at Community Groups we practiced intercessory prayer. This continued our series on prayer where we have already tried prayer journaling, lectio divina, silent prayer, and imaginative prayer.
Intercessory prayer is praying for someone or on behalf of someone. It is the process of interceding for the person, lifting up them and their needs to God. It is a vulnerable thing to be involved in intercessory prayer. The one who is being prayed for is being vulnerable in sharing their struggles and needs to others. The one praying for the person is vulnerable in praying out loud in front of another person or in front of a group. At the same time it is a powerful experience where the one being prayed for can feel encouraged and supported and the one who is interceding can feel drawn into deeper relationship with the person they are praying for as they learn something more about that person.
Last night we started by splitting into pairs and then sharing our requests and praying for our partner. We then gathered in a group together and prayed for each other in those needs. I was greatly encouraged to see all the students participate, pushing through the awkwardness they all felt about praying aloud. It is a big step of growth in faith to pray aloud in front of others and they were all willing to stretch themselves in this area.
The two questions we reflected on about the experience afterwards were (1) How did it feel to pray for someone else? (2) How did it feel to have someone pray for you? You can follow up this practice with your student by gathering as a family and praying together out loud. The more one practices praying in groups aloud the more they get comfortable doing so.