10 Prayer Meeting Ideas to Excite People & Connect with God

Prayer is the most powerful tool we have to connect with God, but your prayer meeting may be missing something. Prayer meetings can feel powerful to some, overwhelming to others, and possibly tedious to the rest. This article discusses why people lose interest in prayer meetings and what changes you can make to encourage more participation.

9 minutes read
10 Prayer Meeting Ideas to Excite People & Connect with God

Prayer is the most powerful tool we have to connect with God. Many assume prayer is a solitary activity, but the power of prayer grows if shared amongst the congregation. Prayer meetings can be a chance to share God’s message and build strong relationships with the church and its parishioners.

Historically, prayer meetings have been held on Wednesday or Sunday evenings. These meetings can feel powerful to some, overwhelming to others, and possibly tedious to the rest. Too often, churches lose sight of the reason for their existence. This article discusses why people lose interest in prayer meetings and what changes churches can make to excite and encourage more participation.

Here are 10 prayer meeting ideas to increase attendance and connect with god:

  1. Move the Prayer Group
  2. Online Prayer Meetings
  3. Encourage Children and Teens to Attend
  4. Liven it up with a Theme
  5. Split Into Smaller Groups
  6. Include Praise Days
  7. Teach People to Pray
  8. Use All Five Senses
  9. Limit Individual Prayer Time
  10. Ask Members for Help

10 Ideas to Get More People to Attend Prayer Meetings 

1. Move the prayer group

Most prayer meetings are held in the church. Sometimes in the main auditorium, the lobby, Sunday school rooms, or the basement. It is a convenient and reliable location to hold a regular weekly meeting. It is also a bit boring. Attending the same meeting and the same location can lower expectations of what people will find in these meetings. Meetings that take the chance and step outside their comfort zone may hold prayer meetings in members’ homes. These locations can add interest and more relationship-building opportunities to a prayer meeting. Inviting people into your home takes a level of trust. Visiting someone’s home automatically opens your eyes to their lifestyle and family.

Pro tip: Prayer meeting groups that choose to hold meetings outside at parks or other locations encourage new involvement and interactions. If the group is concerned about a social issue and is having difficulty with a specific politician’s actions, prayer meetings can be held outside that politician’s office or another public facility. It should not turn into a protest, but by getting close to the issue, members of a prayer group can speak passionately and connect with God on issues they care most about.

2. Make it possible to meet online

Boredom is not the only reason people stop attending prayer meetings. Since most meetings are held on Wednesday or Sunday evenings, those who work the following day may find attending in-person prayer meetings inconvenient. Church members who are homebound or have left for college may want to be part of the prayer meeting but cannot physically attend. The pandemic has opened our eyes to the importance of sharing Sunday sermons online with a virtual church. As congregations have warmed to these online sermons, many have asked for online prayer meetings as well.

Church leaders can also use these meetings to encourage virtual church attendees to be more active in the church. All people need is a computer, laptop, or smartphone, and internet access.

Online prayer meetings can be held with streaming services like Zoom. This tool allows you to invite anyone to attend your meeting and requires you to stick to a scheduled start and end time. This may seem inconvenient, but it will help end prayer meetings from going over time and discouraging people from attending.

3. Encourage children and teens to attend

prayer meeting ideas for church

Children can liven up any environment. If a church’s prayer meeting is getting a little stale, it may be time to welcome fresh blood. Inviting children of any age into a prayer group means your meeting will need to be reworked to keep their attention.

Involving them in the activities and planning stages can brighten up a group and bring in a new perspective. New members mean new ideas that may eliminate boredom and fears and encourage more adults to join the meeting.

Churches constantly share concerns about the younger generation but do not often include them in leadership opportunities. Prayer meetings can be a way to teach teens and children how to pray and include prayer in their lives. By teaching children how to involve Christ in their daily lives, churches are creating strong Christians who will spread the message of God to their communities.

Pro tip: Offer your teen volunteers the chance to form mentoring relationships. These mentorships will help develop new leaders for the church and ensure its long-term success.

4. Liven it up with a theme

Unoriginal prayer meetings are a common complaint among church members. Bring some excitement and originality to a prayer meeting with a new theme every week.

Themes can include vague ideas like love, motherhood, and trust or different types of prayer. Developing a theme for each week gives the prayer meeting leaders ideas to form their teaching and activities. Prayer meetings that include a theme encourage fresh and novel thinking. People who attend these meetings may not feel as stuck and fearful of finding ideas of what to pray for.

Pro tip: Themes are also an excellent way to attract new people to your church. For example, with a prayer theme of motherhood, you can invite young and older women to your church once every month. They will not only open up to God but also form a lasting relationship with the church. This way, keep targeting different age groups, interests, and issues within the community.

5. Split into smaller groups

Prayer is the primary reason for a prayer meeting, but prayers can run long when meetings stick together throughout the night. The meeting may go past the designated time. Another option is to split into smaller groups of two or three at the end of the night. Members can then take time to request prayers and pray as a group for each other or decide on their own how to worship the Lord.

ideas for leading a prayer meeting

6. Include praise days

Prayer for many people has become asking God to grant a wish. Church members fall into the trap of asking God for what they want instead of need and become angry and discouraged when their prayers aren’t answered. It can be disheartening when people don’t see God’s work. Prayer meetings are usually used to ask God for help, but what if once a month, a prayer meeting was called to thank God for what he has achieved?

Churches in contact with their parishioners should ask members to call when they need help and when God has brought them the good news. Did someone get a new job? Was a child’s disease cured? These should be times of praise! Prayer is the chance to speak directly to God. By sharing joy and thankfulness during prayer meetings, church members will feel God’s love and find new life in their faith.

Pro tip: When you keep a prayer meeting to celebrate the good and offer gratitude, the mundaneness of a typical prayer meeting is gone in a jiffy. More people get attracted to this positive approach.

7. Teach people to pray

Prayer is not easy for everyone, even for those in a prayer group. Churches have the responsibility to work with members to build prayer warriors. Remind members that prayer is a time to speak to God and not each other. Speak to him honestly and openly. By teaching how to pray, churches help individuals strengthen their relationship with God.

creative prayer meeting ideas

There are a couple of things prayer meeting leaders can do to train members in prayer.

7.1 Take time to listen

God doesn’t always answer our prayer with a burning bush. At times, it is difficult to know what he wants from us. As members of his church, congregations should take the time to listen to his message. An excellent way to welcome God into the church’s prayer meeting is by asking members to meditate. Talk to the group about the importance of listening to God. Remind them and discuss the ways God speaks through his followers. After members meditate as a group, discuss how their conversation with God went and how they felt.

7.2 Hand out prayer lists

Churches can collect prayer requests from members of the congregation. At the beginning of each prayer meeting, the group leader can pass out the list of prayers for members of the group to pray about that evening and on their own.

7.3 Assign prayer requests

Another way prayer meeting leaders can teach how to pray is by handing out prayer requests. When it’s time to pass out the prayer lists, the leader can assign a prayer request or two to each group member. When they split into smaller groups, these members will then pray for their assigned prayer requests and their own prayer.

8. Use all five senses

Conversations with God are not only for the mouth and ears. All five senses can be used to celebrate God’s gifts. During a prayer meeting, churches can ask people to hold, smell, and taste as they pray. Some ideas include the following:

8.1 Bring food and drinks

Prayer meetings can take more than an hour or more. Members who attend these meetings will appreciate the treat and the thoughtfulness. Leaders should try and find foods that fit the prayer meeting’s weekly theme.

creative prayer meeting ideas

8.2 Ask people to bring pictures

Praying for someone you can see makes it more personal. Leaders can bring pictures of politicians or visual sites that fit the weekly theme. Members who have prayer requests can bring personal photos, explain who they are and why they need prayers.

9. Limit individual’s prayer time

This can be difficult because we do not want to discourage our members, but having only one or two monopolize the meeting can limit the effects. At the beginning of your prayer meeting, remind people that everyone can participate and they do not have to pray long. Ask everyone to pray in a sentence or two if they cannot think of more to say. This will encourage everyone’s involvement and hopefully help those comfortable with prayer understand that this is a group and should pray as a group.

Another way to accomplish this is to limit personal requests to the last part of the meeting. Leaders can use the first part of the meeting to teach members how to pray and pray as a group. Members will split into groups at the end of the meeting for personal prayers. Remind everyone of when the prayer meeting ends, so prayers do not go too long.

10. Ask members to help

Church members who attend prayer meetings are likely some of its most active members. These individuals see it as their mission to care for and pray for their fellow parishioners. Church leaders can encourage members of the prayer group to help in more ways than one by educating prayer group members on ways to support the church financially.

If churches collect donations online, church members can help reach fundraising goals through innovative campaigns like crowdfunding, peer-to-peer, and text-to-give.

Pro tip: But before you ask, educate people on how to give and what their gifts can do for the church. If you have a virtual presence, create a brochure to hand out to each meeting member so that it is easier for them to know the important links and ways to give.

Donorbox is helping thousands of churches across the world make a difference in the community and the lives of people. Watch this quick 1-min video to know how you can leverage its powerful features to make online giving utmost easy for your members –

Why People Tend to Lose Interest in Prayer Meetings

prayer meeting ideas

1. They are intimidated and afraid

Speaking in front of people is a common fear. Many people will do anything to avoid this, and the idea of joining a group where it is expected is unthinkable. The church is a safe space, and prayer meetings can be an excellent opportunity to form and strengthen relationships. Supportive prayer groups can raise people’s confidence and encourage them to share and participate in more church activities. Unfortunately, some prayer meetings are dominated by one or two people, with few others participating. Individuals who fear speaking in public come to believe that if they cannot pray as strongly and long as others, they just won’t pray at all.

2. They are bored

Even if they aren’t afraid of praying in public, people’s attention spans are limited. Prayers that take too long and prayer meetings that feel like the same thing over and over again will discourage involvement. Prayer groups are filled with loving and generous individuals. They are willing to listen to others’ difficulties and come together in heartfelt prayer to help. The problem comes when each weekly meeting becomes a time when the same few people share their sad tales. There will always be members of your church who need help, but you may be missing out on the many for the sake of the few.

3. It is inconvenient

Prayer meetings are generally held on Wednesday or Sunday evenings. Your church members may be grateful for the prayer meeting but find it difficult to attend because of family or work responsibilities. Those that do attend may have mentioned their issue with the meetings going past time—many adults in your church work on Monday and Thursday morning. Staying late the night before or using their limited family time to attend church for more than an hour can be challenging.

4. They are disheartened

prayer meeting ideas

God does not always answer your prayers the way you want. This fact may be understood, but when faced with the reality of it, many become disillusioned or even angry. Prayer meetings are too often used to ask God for what we want or think we need. We have lost sight of God, and our prayers are more like a child’s Christmas list.

5. There is no leadership

Prayer meetings can be inspiring and exciting, but they can also feel repetitive. Some prayer groups are exclusive, not because of the members, but because there is no one there to lead the group so it becomes difficult to break into an already formed community. Leadership is needed to direct the group and include different ideas to bring new life to the meetings.

6. There is almost no time spent on prayer

Ironic, isn’t it? Prayer meetings may start with scripture, songs, and networking. There is nothing wrong with this, but because of these activities, meetings may end with only a few minutes of prayer before people leave. The same people who attend weekly prayer meetings rarely pray during the week. Their lives are filled with fear and stress that they hope to relieve during these prayer meetings. These prayer meetings have lost sight of why they were formed. Members of these groups want a closer connection with God, but the prayer group has not helped them strengthen this relationship.

Final Thoughts

creative prayer meeting ideas

The ten ideas we listed to excite people about your weekly prayer meeting can be used by churches of any size and denomination. Keeping God in your prayer meetings is vital to its continuation. Church leaders can highlight God’s message and strengthen members’ connection with each other through training, prayer lists, and activities that encourage participation. Including more people in your prayer meetings is also essential.

By offering online prayer meetings, stepping out of the church, and asking younger members to join, prayer meetings can reach a larger audience.

Churches have started to understand how critical online donations are to their survival. By encouraging online gifts, churches can find ways to get their members involved and supportive of their fundraising objectives.

Donorbox gives churches an affordable option for online donation processing and donor management. If your church is looking for a way to collect donations online, visit our website. If your church is interested in learning other unique ways to raise funds online, visit our blog.

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Kristine Ensor is a freelance writer with over a decade of experience working with local and international nonprofits. As a nonprofit professional she has specialized in fundraising, marketing, event planning, volunteer management, and board development.

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