This prayer breakfast ideas article will give you a variety of prayer breakfast ideas for themes, prayer types that will work for your group, decorations, activities, food and location.
Prayer Breakfast Ideas for Themes
The first step in getting prayer breakfast ideas is deciding on the theme or purpose. Why are you gathering to pray? Knowing why you are gathering will help the other aspects of the event fall into place and will enable you to publicize your event to those who have the greatest interest in attending. Here are some examples of why prayer breakfasts are held.
Prayer support for a church, an organization, business or nonprofit. Many groups plan a prayer breakfast to support their organization or church. Members gather to lift up the organization in prayer.
Prayer for specific individuals or groups of people. Prayer breakfast can honor or empower specific people or groups of people. Examples include praying for a clergy member or visiting missionary, blessing graduating high school seniors, honoring first responders, empowering Sunday school teachers, thanking prayer chain participants and welcoming new members.
Prayer for a cause, concern or endeavor. Prayer breakfasts can also be planned to intercede for a cause such as social justice, safety, disease research, moral issues in society, armed conflicts and world peace. They may be held to pray for countries and political leaders in conjunction with events and holidays such as the National Day of Prayer. Prayer breakfasts can also support events such as a evangelism events, building campaigns or revivals.
Prayer for God’s guidance, vision or empowerment. Prayer breakfasts can be held to seek God‘s direction, guidance or empowerment as a group.
Prayer for each other. Some prayer breakfasts focus on praying for each of those in attendance for their personal lives and concerns.
Prayer Breakfast Ideas for prayer modes for your program that will work for your group
Once you have prayer breakfast ideas about the purpose of your prayer breakfast you will have a better idea of who will be interested in attending and how to best engage them in meaningful prayer. It’s often good to have two or more different types of prayer at your event.
When deciding on the types of prayer to use, consider the ones attendees will be most comfortable doing. As an example, some people would be very comfortable praying out loud on the spot with others in a small group or even praying out loud in front of the whole group. Others wouldn’t.
Leader-led Collective prayer. In this type of prayer, the person at the microphone leads the group in prayer by praying on behalf of everyone. The person leading the prayer can write the prayer beforehand or can pray extemporaneously without notes as God’s leads. They can be either or clergy person or a volunteer. This is the most common type of prayer in formal group settings and can serve as the main prayer type at a prayer breakfast or can be one of the prayer types used.
Unison prayer. Unison prayer is when everyone says the same prayer together out loud. The most common example of this is praying the Lord’s Prayer or the Our Father together. Other written prayers can be used such as prayers from the Bible, historical prayers or prayers from the Book of Common Prayer. Or you may choose to write your own unison prayer.
When using unison prayer, make sure everyone has access to the words of the prayer via a slide or handout so everyone can participate.
Guided prayer. In a guided prayer, the leader uses a written prayer outline that covers different subjects of prayer appropriate to the theme of the prayer breakfast. The leader says a few words of prayer that introduce the next subject of prayer then pauses while participants make their own silent prayers on this subject to God. After the leader determines that the group has had enough time to say a personal prayer on the matter, they go on to the next subject of prayer.
When leading a guided prayer it’s important to pause long enough for people to form their own prayer. When I’m leading a guided prayer I personally silently form my own prayer on the subject, giving me a better feel for how long the silence needs to be.
Prayer Litany A prayer litany is when the leader prays a few lines and then the group responds with a simple line, Scripture or statement. It can also be a written prayer where the leader prays a line and the group responds with a written line.
An example of a prayer litany group response is “Lord, hear our prayer.” In such a litany, the leader would pray for a specific concern or individual. When the leader pauses the group responds in unison, “Lord, hear our prayer.” Other common group litany responses include, “Lord have mercy,” “Thanks be to God” etc.
A litany can also have different words for the group to pray each time. If you use such a prayer, make sure you provide copies either via a slide or a written copy with sentences in a bold font which the group will be praying.
Prayer concert or Korean Tongsung prayerTongsung or prayer concert is a type of group prayer where everyone prays out loud together at the same time using their own thoughts and words. The leader starts the prayer time by introducing a subject of prayer and everyone in the group then begins praying out loud to God on the subject. The group prays for a specific length of time and then the leader ends the prayer time.
I have participated in this type of prayer on several occasions, once at a youth leaders group and once at a prayer event. Both times I found it very meaningful and powerful.
Praying out loud with each other. In this type of prayer, the group is divided into smaller segments where each person has a chance to pray out loud as they are led. If people are seated at tables during the prayer breakfast, a table might form a small prayer group. If this method is chosen it‘s a good idea to have a person designated as the leader of the group to facilitate the prayer. Also, guidelines should be given as to the general subject or purpose of the prayer time.
If the entire gathering is small enough, prayer could be done with the whole group.
Written prayer. Participants can be given the time and the necessary paper/pens to silently create a written prayer on the topic of the theme of the prayer breakfast. If you use this method, it’s a good idea to provide soft background music to keep the mood prayerful and to avoid distractions. When choosing music, make sure that it’s general notes or chords and not a familiar hymn so that the words won’t be called to mind as people try to write their prayer.
After these prayers are written you can use them in a variety of ways. They can be collected and sent to those being honored/supported or posted on the organization website or on the walls or bulletin board of the organization’s facility.
Silent Prayer. Silent prayer can be used as a way for all to personally pray as God leads them. When doing silent prayer, the leader will introduce the time of silent prayer and then end it by saying a closing prayer such as, “Lord, you have heard all of the prayers of our hearts and we present them to you, thanking you for your love and power. Amen.”
Again, it’s often wise to have soft nondescript background music praying during silent prayer time to keep the tone reverent and people focused.
Prayers over others. If your prayer breakfast theme is focused on blessing a particular group of individuals you might consider ways to say prayers of blessings over them.
One way of offering blessings or empowerment over a group of people is through a prayer huddle where those being prayed for form a circle and the rest of the attendees form a circle around them for prayer. A leader can say the prayer of blessing or group members can offer their prayers.
Another way to offer prayers of blessing over those being honored or supported is through a prayer blessing Scripture circle. In this method, those being honored stay seated in small groups or stand in a circle in groups corresponding to the number of special Scripture blessings chosen. The rest of the attendees are given Scripture blessings to pray for each person. The attendees then move from honoree to honoree, quietly reading/praying their assigned Scripture blessing over each person.
As an example, we used this method with graduating high school seniors. The seniors were seated at tables with their families/friends. The seniors stayed seated and the rest of those at the table prayed their Bible verse over the senior, one at a time. They prayed the same verse over all seniors seated at their table. They also had the opportunity of adding a few of their own prayers for the senior as desired.
Prayer stations. Prayer stations are areas designated for specific types of prayer. They can be places to kneel, light a candle, receive prayer with an intercessor, write a prayer for someone or to do a symbolic act such as tying a knot in a prayer blanket or attaching a request to a cross.
If using prayer stations, make sure that they are spread widely enough around the room to avoid crowding and also allow enough time for all to visit each station in whatever order they choose.
Prayer Breakfast Ideas for Activities
During a prayer breakfast you can also choose to do an activity. These can either be done in a group at each table or used as a prayer station.
Disappearing paper confession or request. You can purchase dissolving paper online and use it for people to write confessions, let go of fears and burdens, ask for forgiveness or write a request. Participants then place the paper into a bowl of water and it automatically dissolves symbolizing God’s action on our behalf.
When we used this at a prayer event, we used a large glass punch bowl and placed it onto a glass top table with a light shining up through the glass and illuminating the bowl. We ordered dissolving paper on the internet. (Yes, this really exists for top secret communications!) Since each sheet was a bit expensive, we cut it into squares about the size of index cards and provided pens on which people could write their prayers.
The paper dissolves right away as you watch. The water will turn murky after the first few papers have dissolved.
Pill box of blessing. During your prayer breakfast you could make items to send or give to those you are supporting in prayer. And example is using a prayer pill box and creating short prayers on slips of paper to insert into each compartment for a week’s worth of prayers for the recipient. For more on this idea see Prayer pill box idea.
Prayer bowl and draw someone’s request. If you’d like for individuals to be able to make personal prayer requests you could make slips of paper and pens available for this purpose. You can collect and pray over these requests in a variety.
One idea is as follows. If your guests are seated at tables, provide a clear bowl on each table into which individuals might deposit their requests. After all requests are deposited, each person then draws out someone else’s request. According to your group’s needs, these requests could be taken home for further prayer, prayed over silently, or prayed over out loud with the table group.
Paper chain prayer. Strips of paper can be provided onto which short requests, praises or prayers can be written. After each prayer is written, it is stapled together as a link to a chain in which all requests are collected.
“Love notes.” Post cards or greeting cards can be made available for each participant to use to write a prayer for someone specific or for someone in general, such as shut in’s or mission team members. Or a short letter can be written addressed to a specific person and different people can each write a short prayer on it for the person.
Prayer blankets. Many churches have prayer blanket ministries where blankets or shawls are given to comfort and reassure those going through a crisis. The group can pray collectively or individually over the blankets and those who will receive them.
Post-it prayers. Prayers can be written on post-it notes and then attached to doorways, walls or gifts.
Prayer scroll or banner. A large sheet of paper can be placed in the room onto which everyone writes a prayer. The banner or scroll can later be hung so others can see it.
Speakers and Music. Some prayer breakfasts include a special speaker. The speaker can be a well-known person who has an inspirational message, the leader of the organization putting on the event, an author, a prayer leader who shares a teaching about prayer, someone with a strong testimony concerning prayer, a community leader, a sports figure, a missionary or a member of the clergy.
The speaker can have an educational purpose, such as telling about the history, mission, community needs, accomplishments and vision of the sponsoring organization. If the prayer breakfast’s theme centers on praying for a cause, the speaker might inform about needs, statistics and issues needing prayer.
Not all prayer breakfasts need a speaker. If you have a limited amount of time, you may elect not to include a speaker so you can focus on quality prayer time.
You can also offer a short devotional thought, video or a Scripture reading in place of a speaker.
Music. Music is another optional feature of a prayer breakfast. In some cases you may not need any music or may only need background music during silent prayer for which you can use a recording. If you opt for music, you might invite a musician, soloist or small group to present a prayerful song. Another idea is to have a song leader lead the group in praise time.
Prayer Breakfast Ideas for Food and Location
Locations, days and times. Depending on the type and the size of the group, prayer breakfasts can be held in homes, church fellowship halls, restaurant private room, banquet facilities, work conference rooms or school cafeterias.
The day you hold your prayer breakfast will depend on the type of people who will be attending. If your group consists of people who are employed or in school, an early time on a weekday morning that will allow people to get to work or school on time. On this schedule, the prayer breakfast would need to be of short duration and the food process needs to be fast and efficient.
If you’re planning a prayer breakfast that is a major celebration and you want to take a longer time for your program, a Saturday morning might work best. If you’re trying to reach a church group, early Sunday morning before church services is an option.
If you have a group of retirees or stay at home parents, you might plan a prayer breakfast on a weekday morning after rush hour or after children are off to school.
Food: The food for a prayer breakfast can vary from minimal to a fully plated breakfast, depending on your budget, the number of volunteers you have, the occasion and the time available.
When publicizing your event, make sure to spell out which of the following breakfast types you will be serving and also the cost so that people can know what to expect. Here are food options starting with the most basic.
Take out/fast food. Buying breakfast sandwiches at a fast food restaurant is the easiest food option for an informal prayer breakfast. It requires the least cost and volunteers. As an example, our church has a men’s morning group and they have a very basic menu of coffee and sausage biscuits purchased from a fast food restaurant. Each attendee simply puts a dollar in the basket for their breakfast. This kind of no frills breakfast works well if you don’t have tables. Instead you can gather around in rows or circles of chairs while eating. This cuts down on room set up, prep work and cleanup.
Continental Breakfast. A continental breakfast includes coffee and juice and one or more of the following: rolls, bagels, donuts or pastries plus condiments like butter, jam and cream cheese. It can also include fruit, yogurt or cereal. This type of breakfast is served buffet style with each person serving themselves.
One of the advantages of a continental breakfast is that no cooking or heating is required and the dishes don’t need to be kept warm. Also, these menus items can be purchased easily at the grocery store ready to use right out of the package.
Light Breakfast. A light breakfast would include the items mentioned in the continental breakfast with the addition of one or two hot items, such as eggs, a breakfast casserole or bacon. This requires access to a kitchen area for cooking or warming items.
This can be done by volunteers to keep costs low. As an example, a women’s group uses a sign-up sheet for members to prepare a specific food item on a predetermined menu. The organizer gives the women the specific recipe for the breakfast casserole so that all of the items will be identical. Each woman prepares and cooks the dish at home and brings it hot and ready to serve. Many breakfast casseroles can be assembled the night before and then baked in the morning.
Restaurants can also provide a light breakfast menu for groups. If you choose to have your prayer breakfast in a restaurant, make sure they have a private room where a door can be closed to block out noise.
Full Breakfast buffet. For more formal prayer breakfast events you might consider a full breakfast buffet. You can either hire a caterer to provide and set up the buffet in your meeting space or you can hold the event in a restaurant banquet space. The buffet usually takes less time than having a plated breakfast served to each guest, but bear in mind that it may take a bit of time for everyone to move through the buffet line. Fully Plated breakfast. A fully plated breakfast is a full service breakfast where the wait staff serves a predetermined plate of food to each guest. This sort of breakfast is usually served in a banquet facility and requires a firm number of reservations prior to the event at a higher cost per person.
Decorations, and Prayer Favors
Decorations. Decorations are another optional consideration for a prayer breakfast. Table decorations can be used with a seasonal or religious theme. For instance, sprigs of cut ivy can be used along with a stand up card that says, “I am the vine, you are the branches.” Votive candles placed in stemware represent the tradition of lighting candles as prayers are offered to God. If you’re using flowers, you can choose blooms that have special meanings. For more info. See how to do a prayer bouquet using the language of flowers.
You can decorate with items committee members bring from home, such as different teapots as a centerpiece and attaching a copy of the John Wesley Teapot table blessing tied with a ribbon to the handle. Or committee members might bring from home their favorite prayer books which you can stand up, propped or stacked in the middle of the table. Not only do their covers make a colorful display, their titles give messages on prayer and they can be good conversation starters.
Prayer favors can be given to participants to take home to remind them to continue to pray. These can come in many shapes and sizes. They could be a small object like a pocket cross, a wrist band, a magnet or a small handmade craft. I was in a group that included prayer favors on tables that went along with the theme of the gathering. Small printed slips of paper were attached to each favor with the name of someone to pray for. Participants were told to take these favors home and put them somewhere they could see them such as on a windowsill. When they saw the reminder, they were to pray a short prayer for the need on the prayer favor. As an example, at a meeting with the theme of April showers of blessings we might have small umbrellas usually put into tropical drinks as the prayer favor.
Other ideas for prayer favors include bookmarks, prayer calendars, postcards, pictures of missionaries and brochures.
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Copyright Karen Barber 2019. All rights reserved.