The PCC has been running the Prayer Course this winter. We did the course last year as a core team but then opened the doors this year to our PCC community to see who was interested in attending. At our last two DEEP gatherings we posted a sign up sheet & spread the word to friends and ended up having a nice small group of about 9 participants.
After doing the course a second time, I would have to say this course is geared more toward newer beleivers, or believers who have maybe been a little shallow in their prayer life. That being said, most of us have still found it to be helpful, no matter how long we've been walking with the Lord.
The Prayer Course is set up ideally for small groups. Though it was co-created by Alpha, it is not necessarily suited for really large groups. We have found this course to be really engaging in a smaller setting so that everyone can have a change to reflect, share and pray more openly. Of course you can run it on a larger scale if you or your team wishes to do so, but we recommend small groups.
Each session explores an aspect of the Lord's Prayer & encourages you to dig deep together to explore the session's theme. We've already seen fruit from the conversations. Each night has turned out quite differently as the leaders have taken turns facilitating the session & bringing their unique voice & gifts to the table.
It's been encouraging to hear when others have been spurred on in their prayer life or challenged to think in a new way. Not only have the videos been inspiring but we've been inspired by one another's stories and testimonies.
Some of us have been encouraged to engage more in global intercession. During a time of group intercession, the Spirit led us to pray for world peace. God showed us that intercession is like fighter jets on an air-craft carrier, going out and releasing His will. Powerful image. Our prayers are powerful and effective.
Others have mentioned how they really enjoyed the diversity of the group (there are over 6 churches represented, 4 nationalities and ages of 20s-60s. We have really enjoyed this dynamic and unique perspectives)! Others have realized they needed to break free from judging others and instead pray for them. Some of us have simply been encouraged to realise prayer really does work! And what a blessing it has been to walk alongside each other for these 6 weeks, praying after each session and seeing God move in our lives. It really has been a good group of people, each carrying different lenses, life experiences and wisdom to share with everyone else.
As a leader, it's been fruitful to see others step into leadership as they take turns facilitating an evening. We all grow in confidence and wisdom as we stretch our leadership skills.
It's been a good course & we highly recommend it.
Here's some feedback from one of our participants this year:
"I like that you can ask the hard and difficult questions about prayer that you normally wouldn't be able to ask anywhere else. And the group is hugely diverse which is what a church should be. A collection of people with different backgrounds and points of view exploring the truthful and honest questions about prayer." - Allen