April 21, 2009
Try something new, if you dare!
Note: In the next few weeks, we'll be introducing some "blogging all stars" from the world of small-groups ministry. One such person is Randall Neighbour. He is the president of TOUCH Outreach Ministries in Houston, and he regularly blogs at www.randallneighbour.com.
I travel all over the world for my ministry work, training small-group leaders and members in far flung places such as Curitiba, Brazil, Seoul, South Korea, and Lilongwe, Malawi. In all of these places, as well as many others around the world, the believers don't pray the way we do. When it's time to pray—and it's always time to pray, by the way—everyone prays out loud and at the same time.
My conclusion? If anyone is weird, it's us Americans. "Concert" prayer is the norm among people of all races and denominational backgrounds outside of North America.
When I asked a pastor from Malawi if they ever use conversational prayer where one person prays aloud while others listen, he said, "There is far more power when everyone is praying instead of listening to one person. When we pray with many voices, it builds faith and removes fear that others will be critical of the words the person is using to speak to God. You should try it and you will see that it is much more efficient and powerful."
Let me challenge you today. Print this page and read it to your small group when you next meet. Challenge them to take a walk on the wild side of prayer and see if it's more powerful and more effective than listening to one person voice a prayer. Then, return here and report on what happened. I'd love to know how they responded and how God moved in your midst.
posted by Sam O'Neal on April 21, 2009 1:30 PM