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cross-364616_640The Prayer Group Santa Barbara California is located in Lompoc, which is a city in the Santa Barbara County in the Californian state of the United States.

We were founded in the late 19th century by a group of religiously insightful people in the city where they are still located. The prayer group is well known throughout the county and people from across the state come to visit and meet them from time to time. The prayer group keeps on flourishing with time and the number of people in the group keeps on increases with each day and week that pass by.

Why?

Christians often pray in groups because it is considered healthy in more ways than one. One reason for doing that is that most people believe they do not pray as much as they should, and therefore, they start praying in groups so that they go an extra mile in it. Further more, group prayers are a great cause of harmony amongst the shared believers. This helps in bringing the Christians of shared believes closer and to bond them.

You are welcome to join us, even if you have not found god yet. Jesus is there for you. He loves you very much!

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What is a Prayer Group?

Therefore confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective. (James 5:16-17)

Group prayer refers to the gathering together of Christians in order to pray and glorify the Lord together as one body. If one considers the New Testament as a whole (as opposed to picking verses out of context, like some do with Matthew 6:6), it is clear that Christ intended for his followers to be united as a whole. Shortly before he was arrested, Jesus, whilst speaking to the heavens, requested this of his Father: “Holy father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one.” (John 17:11) Paul repeatedly reinforced the idea of the Church “family,” using familial language to address the recipients of his letters (“Brothers,” “Sisters,” etc.) and constantly implores them to behave as one body. Consider the following:

There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28)

Finally, all of you, have unity of spirit, sympathy, love for one another, a tender heart, and a humble mind.” (I Peter 3:8)

Finally, brothers and sisters, farewell. Put things in order, listen to my appeal, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be you.” (II Corinthians 13:11)

Therefore, the practice of group prayer is something that we as Christians are encouraged to do; there is, of course, a time for private study and prayer, but group prayer is important as well, as it unites the family and allows them to give spiritual support to one another.

The Benefits of a Prayer Group

Prayer groups have many benefits for attendees.

  • They bind people together, allowing them to see similarities amongst them instead of the differences, allowing them to bond as group and become more trustful towards one another.

  • Prayer meetings can also be places where attendees confess their sins to the group, as Christians are called to do.

  • It is a way to witness the power of prayer. Meeting regularly as a prayer group allows members to see the ways prayer works; for example, an individual’s need to find a job may be prayed about within the group and when that person finally does find a job, the entire group is there to bear witness.

  • It is way for Christians to encourage one another in their relationship with Christ.

The Disadvantages of a Prayer Group

Of course, the regular services of the entire church have some advantages over that of small prayer groups.

  • Small prayer groups are not great ways to evangelize to nonbelievers. Praying out loud and baring the soul to others is never easy, but it is even harder to do in a group of strangers. Because prayer groups are by nature intimate gatherings, bringing guests is more likely to make them feel uncomfortable. A regular service is best for spreading the Gospel.

  • Small prayer groups do not connect attendees to most of their church family.

What Happens at a Prayer Group?

The tone, atmosphere, and activities of prayer groups can vary even within the same church family because of the human element. However, most prayer groups include the same basic practices: often they will begin by singing several songs, then someone might read a Bible verse or talk about a passage. After that, they will likely go around the room for everyone to give their prayer requests, and finally, the group’s members will take turns praying for another. This typically concludes the meeting, though members will often eat together after the official time has ended.

Conclusion

Participating in a mixture of private and group prayer can really enhance your spiritual life, as it combines the one-on-one personal reflection and group support into one package. However it is practiced, always remember:

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.” (Philippians 4:4)

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The Benefits of Prayer

The prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise them up; and anyone who has committed sins will be forgiven.” (James 5:15)

Sometimes, perhaps when you are sleepy or irritated, you may find yourself thinking this thought during your prayer time: “WHY AM I DOING THIS?” Moments of less-than-perfect devotion are simply side effects of being human, but the next time you find yourself thinking this, remember this article.

1) Brings us closer to God

This is the overall point of prayer: to interact and grow our relationship with God. It is easily one of the most important components of living a truly spiritual life, which is why it is taken so seriously. It is easy to forget the magnitude of what we are doing when we pray, but it is helpful to try and remember that you are speaking directly to the creator of the universe.

2) Lets us see our priorities

None of us are probably as self-aware as we should be, but prayer is a great way to see where your priorities truly lie. When we pray, we are open to God, our true desires are laid bare as it is instinctual to ask for what you really want. If we find ourselves praying that some terrible fate befalls someone who has angered us, this should be a sign that you are currently lacking a forgiving spirit, and should probably pray for that instead of praying for a train to hit your boss’s car. (Not your boss himself, just the car.)

3) Confession and forgiveness

A major part of any prayer is that where we take responsibility for our mistakes and confess them to God in an open and frank manner. Only when we are truly repentant can we really be forgiven. This is also a way to forgive yourself. Knowing that you have received the grace of God soothes the spirit and can help remove feelings of guilt and shame.

4) Source of comfort

Prayer performed during an emotionally rough time can be one of the most spiritually healing practices you will ever experience. Prayer has a way of calming and clearing the mind, of removing unimportant factors and replacing them with thoughts of God and all of his wondrous deeds.

Prayer can also be a source of comfort when we find ourselves stressed out with what feels like a dozen different problems demanding our attention. Laying those burdens before God, surrendering and asking for his help whilst acknowledging that we are too weak to be able to handle things on our own is a truly humbling experience that brings peace of mind and the knowledge that you don’t have to work through everything alone when you have a relationship with God.

5) Aids physical health

That’s right, not only is prayer good for your spiritual wellbeing, but it’s good for your physical health too! Studies have shown that when people engage in prayer or meditation, their blood pressure and stress level decrease, while levels of dopamine (the substance in our brain that causes feelings of joy and wellbeing) increase and our brain waves slow down, allowing us to have a better sense of control over our thoughts and actions. Recovery rates are also higher in people who pray daily when compared to those who do not. Asthma symptoms lessen, fewer fevers and headaches are experienced, pain tolerance increases, and in general, manifestations of illness are not as severe in those who practice prayer

Source:

Schiffman, Richard (2012) Why People Who Pray Are Healthier Than Those Who Don’t. Available from: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/richard-schiffman/why-people-who-pray-are-heathier_b_1197313.html. (Accessed 5 November 2014).

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