In most groups, the prayer time almost becomes an afterthought. It is often filled with non-personal requests, typically for someone else outside the group, but not for the person sharing the request. If this is your group’s experience, you will have to work against the tendency to emphasize the other components (typically the study), and leave this important component to the very end or leave it out altogether.
Our human tendency is to not want to share our lives with others because we fear they will either not care or will use that information against us in some way. Because others typically feel this way, as well, it takes focus and effort to help the group share their lives to build community. It requires that the small group leader make this time sacred, creating and preserving the time required for it to be effective, week in and week out. This is a process and time spent in this area can be life-changing. Since it is well worth the time, ways for doing this will be explored in detail in later chapters.