Activity time: 30 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Leader Resource 2: Guided Intercessory Prayer
- Clock, watch, or timer
- Optional: Microphone
Preparation for Activity
- Practice reading Leader Resource 2: Guided Intercessory Prayer so that you can deliver it calmly and clearly.
Description of ActivityTell the group that they are going to experience a contemplative approach to intercessory prayer. For anyone unfamiliar with the term, "intercessory prayer" is prayer on behalf of someone else. For those who are familiar with it, the term may conjure up images of "prayer lists" and the rote recitation of the names of people "who are in need of prayer." Encourage people to keep an open mind and heart.
Explain that you are about to lead the group in a silent, meditative form of prayer. This prayer has three parts.
Ask participants to find a comfortable position in their seats. After a moment or two, guide the group in prayer with the words from Leader Resource 2: Guided Intercessory Prayer.
After sounding the bell at the end of the guided prayer, allow a few moments for participants to refocus their attention. Then ask the group to divide into pairs. Invite each pair to spend five minutes discussing their experiences: What was it like to pray for these three people in this way? Participants will take turns being speakers and listeners. You may wish to ring the bell halfway through (after two and a half minutes) to signal speakers and listeners to switch.
When the sharing is through, invite participants to return to the large group for discussion of these questions:
- What did it feel like to pray in this way?
- What was new for you in this experience? Did anything surprise you?
- How many participants have prayed an intercessory prayer before?
- What aspects of this personal spiritual practice do you see as valuable-for yourself, for your community, and for the persons you pray for?
Including All ParticipantsWhen you read Leader Resource 2: Guided Intercessory Prayer, use a microphone and/or choose to stand or sit near participants who are hard of hearing so that they can hear you better.
If you notice participants struggling to hear one another in their pairs, allow some pairs to leave the room and find a quieter space. If two participants require American Sign Language interpretation and you have only one interpreter, pair up those participants. If more than two participants need ASL interpretation, find a second interpreter to help.