May 26, 2022

ChurchPulse Weekly Conversations: Pete Greig on Prayer

In a recent ChurchPulse Weekly episode, Pete Greig meets with David Kinnaman to talk about growing a culture of prayer in your church. Together, they discuss the power of the practice of Lectio Divina, how to cultivate a healthy prayer ministry and practical tips for leading a prayer meeting over Zoom.

On the Renewal of the Lectio Divina
Greig shares about the power of the Lectio Divina, noting, “One of the great joys of recent years for me has been the full discovery of the Lectio Divina. It’s an ancient approach to praying the Bible [where individuals] do not just study the Bible, but pray it. 

“The approach is this,” Greig describes, “You pray the Bible slowly, reflectively using your imagination and using it as a launchpad into prayer. The original Latin steps include lectio, which means read, and then meditatio, which involves meditating on the verse. [These are followed by] oratio, which involves turning it into prayer, and then contemplatio, which involves actually moving beyond the text into contemplating on the Lord.”

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On Ways to Build a Vibrant Prayer Ministry
Recent Barna data show that nearly three in five U.S. adults (58%) report that they pray at least once a week or more. 

During the discussion, Greig lists ways churches can create an effective prayer ministry. “The key thing [to creating effective prayer ministry] is to create a culture of prayer, and not just to try and roll out a program, because programs end up running out of steam eventually, and then you go hunting for the next one. Programs can serve culture, but the program is not the same as the culture.” To create a culture of prayer, Greig states, “[Leaders should be] leading by example… We, as leaders, cannot delegate prayer to others.” 

Greig continues, “Secondly, let’s teach on prayer. This seems, again, so obvious, but I’ve done analysis… And you’re lucky if there’s one series a year on prayer, even though [prayer] is one of the few things that’s on every page of the Bible.”

On Tips to Lead an Effective Digital Prayer Meeting
Recent Barna data show that one in five churchgoers (20%) say they have engaged with church through digital prayer experiences over the course of the pandemic.

In light of this data, Greig offers practical tips leaders can utilize to help lead a fruitful digital prayer meeting. “First, [it is critical to] prepare. [It is] amazing how many leaders will spend hours preparing a message, a sermon, a talk, but then just turn up at the prayer meeting and wing it. Prepare. People are busy. They turn up to a prayer meeting, but their mind is somewhere else.

“Next, work out how you’re going to move their hearts,” Greig suggests. “Everyone feels like they should be really bothered, but they’re thinking about other things… Perhaps grab a picture off a news website of whatever it is [you’re praying for], and put that up on the screen… [you can also offer] a scripture to help guide your prayers.”

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About the Research
The data shown above is based on a representative sample of 2,007 interviews with U.S. adults, ages 18 or older. The interviews were conducted online from April 23 to May 5, 2021. The margin of error is +/- 2.0 percent at the 95-percent confidence level.

Featured image by Aaron Burden on Unsplash.

About Barna
Barna is a private, non-partisan, for-profit organization under the umbrella of the Issachar Companies. Located in Ventura, California, Barna Group has been conducting and analyzing primary research to understand cultural trends related to values, beliefs, attitudes and behaviors since 1984.

© Barna Group, 2022

About Barna

Since 1984, Barna Group has conducted more than two million interviews over the course of thousands of studies and has become a go-to source for insights about faith, culture, leadership, vocation and generations. Barna is a private, non-partisan, for-profit organization.

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