'Growing in Maturity' looking at ways we can deepen our prayer life within our circuit and communities. Here are some ideas to help you grow:-
We can all learn from each other and our experiences as Christians. We are all unique and have a story to tell which can be of help to others on their Christian journey. Each one of us has a Testimony of our Christian journey to share with others. Why not meet in a group and share these memories and experiences?
As a Church You could put together a leaflet of early church experiences, perhaps how you first came to church or memories of Sunday School Youth club etc. Perhaps a significant person in your life had an impact on you helping you mature in your Christian life which you could include.
It is important for us to pray for needs of others and the concerns of community in which we live — locally, nationally and internationally. Praying for others, or 'interceding for others', is like standing in the gap between God and his people, offering to God the concerns of the people, and vice versa, offering to the people the concerns of God. These can be offered in groups or individually
Here are some ways to help you with praying for others:
Methodist Prayer Handbook — Why not use the Methodist Prayer Handbook which has a prayer for each day and can be used for personal or group prayer. There are also daily Bible readings to accompany the prayer.
Knotted Wool - Cut three equal lengths of wool in the colours of your choice. One colour represents yourself, one represents God and one represents other people. Knot them together at one end. As you reflect on your relationship with God and with others plait the wool. Knot the end when you finish and, as you do so, say a prayer commending yourself and those you have thought about, to God's Love.
Prayer Board -Set up a Prayer Board at church, low enough for children to reach. Encourage people to pin prayers onto the board. Try different themes each week. Shape your note paper to reflect your theme, e.g. hand shapes for thanksgiving; fish shapes for prayers about mission; leaf shapes for creation. Have plenty of pens and pencils available for people to use.
Think about those who are unable to attend a church service either through age or illness. Perhaps you or several people could visit them at home and have a time of reflection and prayer. Those no longer able to attend church often welcome the opportunity to reflect on their Christian experiences which can be extremely valuable to others. Maybe think about writing some of these experiences down in a journal to help others.
Encourage those unable to attend church either through age or illness to write down their favourite prayer. Even a few words can inspire others. Maybe it is a prayer that has helped them through a difficult time in their life and can be added to a journal of experience.