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  • Writer's pictureGraceful Willow Learning

Igniting Faith: A Guide to Starting Your Own Catholic Prayer Group

Activity for 17+ year olds

As Catholics in good standing, we should always strive to educate ourselves and learn more about God and His church. One way of doing this is through participation in bible studies, seminaries, talks... all which are usually provided by your local parish. Another way, is to take the initiative and host or organize people to gather to pray.

Weekly prayer meetings is something you can manage fairly easily if you have a good group of friends or acquaintances who have the same ideals as you.

Hosting or leading people is never easy, but with the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and the guidance of Jesus Christ, you will be able to create a nice group, willing to meet once weekly and pray together.

"For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them"

Matthew 18:20

You don't need a huge amount of people: just starting with one friend who wants to join you, is enough to learn how to host, lead a prayer group, aquire the discipline to sacrifice personal time in His name to pray with others, etc.

It is especially important to create strong ties with other youth during these last teenage years: you are about to leave home for the first time, and being able to find some normalcy with others and ground yourself in prayer, will allow for a smooth transition and for your life to be God centered, even among the craziness of going out to the world and college life.

To start your own group, think of all the things that would make you feel welcomed and would encourage you to keep showing up week after week. For example:

  1. Clean and tidy space: Make sure your meetings are at a place where it is clean and comfortable to be in. Where everything around has its 'home' and there aren't any objects out of place.

  2. Good food: either choosing a good restaurant/coffee shop, ordering from a reputable take out, or cooking from scratch; make sure you offer your guests something nice to munch on while you are gathered and don't forget some nice, yet simple drinks!

  3. Ambiance: Put on some music (Gregorian chants, Gospel music, Church hymns); set the right amount of light to signal a cozy and welcoming place; light up some candles or use something to make the space smell good.

  4. Prayer focus: Clearly define the purpose and focus of your prayer group. It could be centered around specific intentions, spiritual growth, or a particular devotion. For example: be specific if this is about a weekly rosary group, a bible study that requires previous reading of the passages, a spiritual book club, a seminar where you invite spiritual guides or eminences to talk to you, a particular topic sharing group (parenthood, faith formation, worldly detachtment, etc.).

  5. Format and structure: Decide on the format of your meetings. This could include a combination of prayer, Scripture reading, discussion, and reflection. Having a structured agenda can help keep the group focused.

  6. Frequency and duration: Determine how often the group will meet and the duration of each session. Consistency is key to building a sense of community and commitment.

  7. Liturgical living: Align some of your prayers and discussions with the liturgical calendar, incorporating seasons and feast days relevant to the Catholic faith.

  8. Educational components: Consider including educational components, such as short teachings on Catholic doctrine, saints, or relevant topics. This can deepen members' understanding of their faith.

Remember that building a prayer group takes time, patience, and commitment; but you will not be disappointed: having a community you can call your 'village' to help you raise kids, navigate faith, and form tight and lasting friendship bonds is something everyone needs. The whole purpose of inaugurating a prayer group is to foster the sense of community and deepen the spiritual lives of its members.

You may be wondering why you should start a prayer group before leaving home. Well, the answer is simple: you are brought to your parents to learn from them. You are in this mini-societal organization where the main objective is for you to learn the best way to develop and begin your own journey in the world.

Here are some benefits to starting a prayer group:

  • Spiritual growth by sharing and listening to others.

  • Community building.

  • Leadership development.

  • Faith formation.

  • Peer support.

  • Evangelization.

  • Strengthening Catholic identity.

  • Growth in virtues.

  • Connection with the Universal Church.

Now that you see how to do this and all the good things it brings... what are you waiting for?! Go and start your prayer group! You will reap the benefits from the very beginning. And once you do, please share with us in the comment section below how you did it and what your thoughts are after the first meeting!

Thank you very much for reading.

Have a wonderful day and God Bless.

Maria Ignacia

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