Dan Augsburger
Facilitated Conversational Prayer

Conversational Prayer pdf

“Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” Matt 18:19,20

Short Prayer - One Item

In Facilitated Conversational Prayer the prayer time is divided into four or more sections of topics where participants briefly pray one or more times on the same general topic, and then begin praying about the next topic when signaled by the prayer leader, who transitions the group to the next topic with a transitional prayer: "Lord, now we want to begin confessing," for example.

When praying, participants...

  • Follow the leader's direction and limit their prayers to the same general topic.

  • Pray short prayers—usually a sentence or two.

  • Limit their prayers to one item on the topic—"Lord, thank you for helping me find a job," and then let another person pray.

  • May pray more than one time, but only after allowing other people to pray.

Praying short prayers and confining them to one item in the topic area, allows participants to participate many times, as they feel comfortable. It also takes pressure off of people who may feel they don’t know enough about prayer to pray a long prayer but can pray short prayer such as, “Lord please help my friend to find you,” or “Lord help me find work."

Four Progressive Subject Areas:
Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication

The four topic sections that the time is divided into can be (1) adoration and coming into God’s presence; (2) confession and acknowledging one’s need of God-of course appropriately*; (3) thanksgiving for the good things God has been doing in answer to prior prayers or other things that come to mind-remembering what God has done strongly encourages further requests; (4) supplication (making specific requests)-sometimes this can be broken up further, for example, allowing time to pray for the pastor and spiritual leaders in the church, the families in the church and the children, those serving God in the mission field, etc., and then a time for specific personal requests.

I like to end the prayer with a short time of thanking God that prayers have been heard.

The ACTS model is only one possible model. Other possibilities might include the Lord’s prayer (Matthew 6:9-14) or one of the Psalms.

Transitional Prayers

To help you get the idea of what I am talking about, here is what a leader might pray in facilitating transitions through the prayer time:

Section 1 Adoration: “Thank you that we can come and pray together. We want to first spend time coming into your presence Father, and letting you know how much we love you….”

Section 2 Confession: “Thank you for working so powerfully in our lives. Now we want to spend time acknowledging that we fall short of your desires for us….”

Section 3 Thanksgiving: “Now Lord we want to spend time thanking you for the many good things you have been doing for us….”

Section 4 Supplication: “Thank you for being with us as we have prayed so far. We have just been encouraged in remembering all the things that you have done for us. Now we want to make specific requests regarding the things going on in our group and in our lives….”

Concluding: At the close I like to always take a few moments to thank God that each prayer has been heard and that the answers are already on their way.

Appropriate Confession

 “In many of our religious awakenings mistakes have been made in regard to confession. While confession is good for the soul, there is need of moving wisely. I have been shown that many, many confessions should never be spoken in the hearing of mortals; for the result is that which the limited judgment of finite beings does not anticipate. Seeds of evil are scattered in the minds and hearts of those who hear, and when they are under temptation, these seeds will spring up and bear fruit, and the same sad experience will be repeated. For, think the tempted ones, these sins cannot be so very grievous; for did not those who have made confession, Christians of long standing, do these very things? Thus the open confession in the church of these secret sins will prove a savor of death rather than of life…. There should be no reckless, wholesale movements in this matter, for the cause of God may be made disreputable in the eyes of unbelievers. If they hear confessions of base conduct made by those who profess to be followers of Christ, a reproach is brought upon His cause. If Satan could by any means spread the impression that (God's People) are the offscouring of all things, he would be glad to do it. God forbid that he should have occasion! God will be better glorified if we confess the secret, inbred corruption of the heart to Jesus alone than if we open its recesses to finite, erring man, who cannot judge righteously unless his heart is constantly imbued with the Spirit of God. God knows the heart, even every secret of the soul; then do not pour into human ears the story which God alone should hear" (Testimonies, Volume, 5, p. 645).

A Few Additional Thoughts

Just remember to encourage group members to pray short prayers and remind them to confine their brief prayer to one item. That will allow everyone to pray many times.

This form of prayer has being quickly adopted by prayer groups in many places. It is an easy way to get everyone to participate and to greatly extend the amount of time spent praying.