How to go Deeper in your Prayer Group

In my experience, there are few physical situations that we go through without a spiritual or emotional component, working behind the scenes to further complicate our problem.

I saw it just this morning.

A friend was sitting uncomfortable in church, wrestling with neck and back pain. She finally stood to walk back and ask the prayer team for prayer, but stopped in her tracks, overcome with the thought, “Am I really important enough to God for Him to heal me?

Her fear turned into a holy moment where healing took place in her heart and then in her body. As we laid hands on her back, He was making right her thoughts toward Himself and her worth to Him. It became a time of confession and affirmation. And then we watched her back pain begin to subside as well.

It is because of these stories that I care to go beyond the distant prayer requests that are often shared in a group. It may be easy to share about a sick relative, a long work project or desire for a healthy baby, but what doubts, worries and fears do those represent?

Is there More?

I think a better way to think about any prayer request, is that that everything can bear the weight of a real heart issue. And as a group, I believe we can care for others in a greater way by sensitively probing beyond those surface requests to a deeper level.

For example, when someone shares that another elderly relative is sick or in the hospital, reflect on what they have shared in the past –

You know, that’s the third important person in your life you mentioned has cancer this year. How are YOU handling this?”

When they have faced a job loss, their self-worth is likely taking a hit or their trust in God’s provision may be.

When they share a child is going astray, they may be reflecting on a lifetime of decisions and blaming themselves (or their spouse) for their child’s decisions.

When they are grieving a death, they may not only be missing that person, but grieving what didn’t happen or now won’t happen in that relationship.

In all of these, they may be questioning whether God is fair or good. 


How to go deeper in Prayer Groups Asking questions that Help #healingprayer #prayergrouptips #prayerministry #churchresources


All of these concerns are opportunities to care about the emotions, the toll, the burden, the weight, the hit it might take on their faith, their view of themselves or of God, in the midst of this trial. There is always more going on. Always.

The enemy is always attacking our foundation. Hitting us on another level, filling our minds with doubt, bringing up guilt, or maligning our character or God’s. It’s his job and he is relentless.

But there is hope.


In my own life, I was experiencing some chronic health issues and allergies. Yes, I didn’t feel well, but so much else was also going on in my mind and spirit.

Because of my health, I was given strict diet restrictions. Within that limited diet, I began to feel anxiety in approaching meals or eating with others. Then I began to believe the lie that God’s wasn’t fair and wasn’t taking care of me. In that frail state, I began accepting lies that all of me was ugly and that somehow I wasn’t capable of being a good parent. What did my parenting even have to do with my health? But in my worn down state, the enemy of lies hit me in a weak spot as a young parent. It wasn’t until I recognized those lies piling up and exchanged them for God’s truth that the anxiety could subside.

I reached out to friends to pray for me in that season but had to work through these lies toward truth by myself. Perhaps you could be the friend that recognizes these stages may be happening in a friends’ life and help them find freedom?  

This scenario made me much more compassionate that even un-related fears could be hitting someone when going through a hard time. Perhaps if we dare to ask, we may be able to better care for that person as a whole. What good would it have really done me to be healed physically and yet continue to limp by with my newly gained anxiety, distrust of God and hatred toward myself?

We might just find our group deepen as we ask a sensitively timed follow-up question to their request and lead them to God’s truth in prayer. Some may be thankful to actually get to talk about their real concern.

(You can read my whole testimony here.)


Why not try it this week?

  1. BE SPIRIT-LED: The good news is that we don’t have to make assumptions or guess about their deepest feelings. Instead, ask the Holy Spirit to help you hear more about their heart. Ask Him to help to guide you in what may be affecting them beneath their request and what questions you should ask.
  2. BE SENSITIVE: Should you ask them more in front of the group or pull them aside later? Rely on Him to help you know when and to show you a window of time.
  3. BE COMPASSIONATE: Ask a follow-up question to a request shared in the group. Consider it in light of their last requests. How might these affect each other or be affecting their heart? *Perhaps encourage your group to write the request down weekly so that you can look back at the list.
  4.  BE HELPFUL: Lead them to the freeing truth in prayer. Sit with them and ask the Lord,

Is there any lie they are believing about their circumstances right now? Are there any lies or burdens they need to give to the Lord? What truth does He want to replace any lies in their life? What does He want to give to them to face their circumstances right now?”


For more steps to consider in prayer, check out “An Overview of a Pray Through it Session” or our free Pray Through It Handbook. 


How to Go Deeper in your Prayer Group #prayergrouptips #innerhealingprayer



Praying For vs. Praying Through

If we are going to participate in the work that scripture refers to as binding, loosing, restoring, bearing one another’s burdens, praying in the Holy Spirit, and snatching people out of the fire, we desperately need to learn to pray. And not just learn to pray for things with others, but learn to pray through it with others.

Praying for something is often as simple as taking a request before God on behalf of yourself and others. Praying for something calls upon God to guide or change a given situation. Praying through something involves embracing change within ourselves within prayer. Praying for involves asking God to fulfill His promises. Praying through involves entering into the promises of scripture. Praying through something often involves discovering and renouncing lies and unbiblical vows, discovering and accepting truth, giving and receiving forgiveness, healing from unbiblical sexual and emotional ties with others, putting off the things of the Flesh and putting on the things of the Spirit.

By getting together with other believers and partnering with them to pray for and through their Stories, Life-Strategies, and Identity, we are able to help them to listen to God in ways that are much more challenging to do on our own. Often within the span of an hour to an hour and a half, without any giving of advice, people who have been struggling with something for their whole life are able to get to the root of an issue – that thing that is the thing that causes the problem in the first place. If their soul is like a knotted ball of string, this issue is the knot that holds all other knots in place.

Tangled in the Knots of Life

Once this issue is dealt with, then they are freed to grow once again and are able to surrender their heavy burden that they might enter into Jesus’ rest and abundant life. Many are surprised to find that in just one hour and a half long prayer session, with God’s guidance and power, we are able to not only know someone’s story, but to help them pray through this story and see God right and rewrite key parts of their stories. In fact, as you learn to pray through it, you will find that you will be able to see transformative life change within yourself and others in even short three-minute prayer sessions.

To read or listen to more about this topic, check out the free resources on our Media page.

Praying for vs. Praying Through an Issue Untangling the Knots of Life #listeningprayer #healingprayer #prayerministry