Prayer for bible study group

prayers for study groups

We’ve found the following suggestions helpful for leading prayers for study groups. Does your Bible study have a special prayer tradition or use an opening or closing prayer that you especially like? Let us know if you’d like to share it here with other Catholic study groups.

Turning to God’s Word takes advantage of a number of avenues to provide high-quality Bible study materials to individuals and parish groups. Our free online resources include a daily Scripture reflection and inspirational quote about Scripture on our home page, how to start individual or group Bible study, online study directories with access to videos and other resources, and our weekly e-column, Lost in Translation. Our printed full-length Catholic Bible studies can be purchased from our website shop, and we also offer occasional short seasonal Bible studies free online, as well as other helpful Bible study resources.

how to compose prayers based on Scripture

Here are four simple steps to aid in composing a prayer related to a section of the Bible that you’ve been reading and about which you’ve been meditating. The process may be used for group or private prayer based on biblical reflection:

1. Address God by one of his many titles, preferably one that relates to the Scripture passage you’ve been studying.
2. Tell God something about himself related to the Scripture passage.
3. Present a personal petition related to your meditation of the same Scripture passage.
4. Close your prayer through Jesus Christ.

Here’s a sample prayer based on the seventh chapter of the Gospel According to John.

Heavenly Father and all-seeing God,

you sent your Son as a light to shine in our darkness. Help us to listen to what Jesus is saying to us, and to act on your Word so that rivers of living waters might flow from our hearts. We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

opening prayer suggestions

Lord Jesus, You promised to send your Holy Spirit to teach us all things.

As we read and study your word today, allow it truly to touch our hearts and to change our lives. Amen.

Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful

and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit, and they shall be created,
and you shall renew the face of the earth. Let us pray.
O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy his consolations. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.

Heavenly Father, send forth your Spirit to enlighten our minds

and dispose our hearts to accept your truth. Help us to listen to one another with openness and honesty, eager to learn from the talents and intuitions that you have given each of us. Never let differences of opinion diminish our mutual esteem and love. May we leave this meeting with more knowledge and love for you and your Son. In the unity of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

intercessory prayer

Participants in the Bible study place their written prayer intentions in a prayer box. Paper and pens are kept by the box. Before closing, the group says the following prayer, and afterward one member takes the prayers and puts them by the altar in the chapel with other prayers that people attending daily Mass pray over each morning.

Lord, we ask that you hear the prayers unspoken in our hearts

and those written and placed in our prayer box. We pray especially for peace and reconciliation in the hearts of those in conflict . . . Lord, hear our prayer. For healing and strength for those who are in need of your mercy . . . Lord, hear our prayer. For the repose of the souls of our loved ones . . . Lord, hear our prayer. For courage and guidance . . . Lord, hear our prayer. Surround our family and friends with your love and help them to grow closer to you. . . . Lord, hear our prayer. And for all those who have no one to prayer for them . . . Lord, hear our prayer. We thank you for answered prayers and for graces received. Fill us with your presence and help us to be faithful bearers of your light. We ask this through the compassion of Jesus your Son, our Lord and Teacher. Amen.

When I talk to Bible study leaders, one concern arises time and again: How do we balance in-depth Bible study with prayer time? What are some practical ways we can encourage serious Bible study while simultaneously building community through prayer with each other? Acts 2:42 describes the early church’s commitment to Scripture, prayer, and fellowship. How can our groups model this approach without spending all our time on one or the other? 

Over the years I’ve participated in a variety of groups, some small and some large. Obviously, the size of the group affects the leader’s ability to foster intimacy among its members (most of the advice that follows works fairly well for small groups between 5 and 30 members).

Here are three practices I’ve found to be quite helpful.

1. Keep Prayer Listsprayer for bible study group

One easy way to keep up with each other is to pass around a prayer list at the beginning of each Bible study. Writing out prayer requests affords women the opportunity to share without pressuring them to share. It also limits the length of time spent on prayer requests since people tend to be more concise in writing (e.g., they leave out the story behind the story).

At the end of the lesson, we ask one person to type up the requests and e-mail them to the other group members. We encourage each woman on the list to pray for the woman just before and after her name, taking time to check in mid-week on any specific updates. This simple system cultivates prayerful fellowship and care among all members of the group, not just dependency on one leader to do all the “checking in.” It also focuses the majority of our weekly time together on studying the Scriptures in-depth.

2. Incorporate Prayer Sessions

We also dedicate certain Bible study sessions entirely to prayer. Every five or six weeks, we suspend our normal study and devote the whole time to fellowshiping in prayer. As our group has grown we’ve divided into smaller groups of five or six to enable adequate time for sharing requests and praying together.

And we always open our prayer time with an encouragement to “Three B’s” of sharing: Be brief, be biblical, and be beneficial.

Be Brief

Proverbs 10:19 wisely tells us: “When words are many, sin is not absent.” But sometimes it’s not the just the content of our words, but the time we take to share, that can be a problem. Since we want each woman to have equal opportunity to share, we encourage brevity.  

Be Biblical

The psalmist prayed, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer” (Ps. 19:14). We ask the women to share freely but to avoid gossip or negative talk about others. You can share your needs without delving into others’ sins. We also ask the women to consider and to share during our prayer time how our study of Scripture has challenged them in new ways. It is such a joy to lean on the language of the passages we’re studying week after week in order to offer Word-filled prayer. Praying the Scriptures is one way God kneads its beauty and truthfulness into our hearts.

Be Beneficial

Before each prayer study we ask the women to consider one question: Is what I’m about to share profitable for others to hear? Does it resonate with the truth of Ephesians 4:29?

Our hope in providing the Three B’s isn’t to stifle or micromanage our prayer time but to keep it from becoming a runaway train that could go a thousand different directions. The guidelines enable our time to be a blessing for us all. We enjoy sweet fellowship. We laugh, we cry, and we pray. 

3. Deploy Prayer Leaders

When a Bible study grows, it’s difficult for one teacher to attend to the diverse needs of everyone in the group. Each woman in your midst is struggling in various ways. Some are vocal, while others wait to be asked. The responsibility of teaching alongside spiritual care is difficult for most leaders to balance as groups increase in size.

To help shoulder the burden of care, then, we’ve sought spiritually mature women to serve as prayer leaders. We divided the Bible study into groups of five women for each prayer leader. This leader checks in regularly with the women in her smaller group, follows up on prayer requests, and gets in touch with anyone we haven’t seen for a while. On those days every few weeks when we have a prayer meeting instead of a Bible study, we divide into these set groups to foster intimacy in the midst of the larger group.

Modeling Acts 2:42

Using a simple means of gathering requests, incorporating group prayer, and deploying leaders to shepherd women has helped foster Bible studies that integrate prayerful fellowship with substantive teaching of the Word.

By God’s grace, we hope to model the fellowship displayed in Acts 2:42: “And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.”

Editors’ note: Here’s a related article from Melissa Kruger on additional ways of praying together in our Bible studies.

This article continues a series addressing your specific questions related to ministry among women through the local church. We have a team of women eager to respond to a select number of questions. Please send all questions on the subject of women’s ministry to our coordinator for women’s initiatives, Mallie Taylor (mallie.taylor

Then make sure to pick up a copy of Word-Filled Women’s Ministry: Loving and Serving the Church (Crossway) . This new book casts a vision for ministry among women that’s grounded in God’s Word, grows in the context of God’s people, and aims for the glory of God’s Son. You can also now register for our 2016 National Women’s Conference, June 16 to 18, in Indianapolis.

Previously in this series:

  • Why Women’s Ministry? (Kathleen Nielson)
  • 5 Ways to Minister to Women in Crisis (Kristie Anyabwile)
  • 5 Questions for Choosing Bible Study Material for Women’s Groups (Mary Willson)

There are many mysteries in the Christian faith, and prayer is one that I know many people have a hard time grasping. There are many questions on the hows, whys, whats, and whens of prayer. With all that (and more) in mind, here are 3 studies on prayer that you and your small group might want to check out.

1. When God’s People Pray by Jim Cymbala

Our God loves us deeply and longs to be in a relationship in which we receive the spiritual and physical blessings he wants to give us. We, as individuals and as churches, suffer great loss when we fail to ask God for these blessings. These blessings can change our lives, invigorate our churches, transform our communities, and even alter the course of history! Best of all, they are available to every believer and every church if we will only pray for them in faith and obedience. The aim of this small group study is to help God’s people discover prayer as our lifeline to him – our source of strength and abundant blessing.

2. Prayer by Philip Yancey

Philip Yancey helps you and your group explore and experience the very heartbeat of our relationship with God: prayer. What is prayer? How does it work? And more importantly, does it work? ”Prayer is the act of seeing reality for God’s point of view,” says Yancey. Filmed in different locations in the Rocky Mountains, Prayer takes you to the mysterious intersection where God and humans meet and relate. The goal of this study is to help you and your group more fully consider, experience, and cherish the priceless gift of prayer. The best part is, you’ll be encouraged to pray the way Jesus himself prayer – as if your prayers make a difference, as if God is there and listening…to you.

3. Too Busy Not to Pray by Bill Hybels

25 years ago, Bill Hybels wrote a book entitled Too Busy Not to Pray. It has become a classic on prayer, helping Christians all over the world slow down and draw near to God. The main idea for the Too Busy Not to Pray: you and your small group can become people of prayer. Even if you’ve never prayed before. Even if you’re in a prayerless place yourself. You can learn to pray. To be a person of prayer, all you have to do is decide. Decide that prayer matters. Decide that your prayer matters. Decide that there really is a God who is waiting to hear from you – wants to hear from you. And then slow down, look up, and pray.

Join the Conversation

Have you participated in any of the above Bible studies on prayer? What did you think? Do you have any other favorite Bible studies on prayer to recommend to our readers? Leave a comment below. We’d love to hear from you!

Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.  St Matt 18:20
Did not our hearts burn within us…while he opened to us the Scriptures?  St Luke 24:32

Studying God’s Word together leads us to a deeper understanding of the Lord Jesus, of our relationship with Him and His calling in our lives.  Faith, hope and love are exercised and grow through our meeting together to reflect on the Bible.  It helps us also to grow in friendship.

“A journey into the known unknown” is a way to describe Bible study.  Although the Bible is very familiar to Christians, it is full of surprises.  The Bible is not new, it has a history of thousands of years, but it is also very up to date.  With words from the past it tells about life and challenges for Christians today.  In the Bible Study-groups at Holy Trinity Church, the participants discover together what it is all about.

Starting in September 2016 with ‘The Lord’s Prayer’ (more information below), continuing in Advent with ‘Expecting Christ’, then on to ‘Can we build a better world?’ (based on the life and work of William Wilberforce, campaigner for the abolition of slavery) and concluding, after having looked into ‘The Psalms” during Lent, with ‘Tough talks: Hard sayings of Jesus’, different facets of Christianity are highlighted.  The study of the Bible with faith leads us to know and to love Jesus, the Rock on whom we build our daily life.

The Bible Study-groups are open to all who are curious about the Bible and willing to share their views, questions and answers with others.  The study sessions are held two times per month on Tuesday nights in the Parsonage and at other times during the week in De Betuwe and in Houten.  It is open to the ‘regulars’ who come every time, but those who come only once or twice, are of course, also very welcome.  The meetings are open, there is no need to give advanced notice if you want to come, you are very welcome just to show up!

A meeting consists naturally of Bible study, with different, sometimes very creative methods used, but also with moments for prayer and informal exchange.


The Utrecht Study Group meets every 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month in the parsonage hall (or the apartment), Van Hogendorpstraat 26, 3581 KE UTRECHT.  You are most welcome for tea or coffee at 19:45 and we start the study at 20:00.  It ends at the latest at 21:45.

For Utrecht contact:  Danielle Los   e-mail: [email protected]   ☎ 030 – 236 85 72
or Xander van Asperen  e-mail: [email protected] ☎ 030 – 273 16 52

The Houten Study Group meets every 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month. This is a change from last year, as the meeting has moved from the Wednesday to the Tuesday, starting on the  13th February. The group meets at 10:00 AM at the Fink-Jensen home: Kloostertuin 15, 3994 ZJ, Houten.

For Houten contact:  Susette Fink Jensen,  e-mail: [email protected]

The De Betuwe Study Group continues in the new year.

In Advent we switched to Isaias, according to the lessons for the morning prayer. We will continue this approach, if God will, in the first months of 2018. We plan to meet Tuesday January 9 and 30, February 20 and March 20. All meetings will be at Waalbandijk 48, 4175 AC, Haaften

Feel free to join us, all of you are most welcome to our small group.

For De Betuwe contact:  Hans Baars  e-mail: [email protected]

Themes Season 2016-2017

The themes for the 2016 – 2017 season are:

September, October November     – The Lord’s prayer (6 sessions)
December                                           – Expecting Christ (4 sessions)
January, February                            – Can we build a better world? (based on the work of William Wilberforce, the great campaigner for the abolishment of slavery) (4 sessions)
March, April                                       – Lent/the Psalms (5 sessions)
April, May, June                                – Tough talks: Hard sayings of Jesus (5 sessions)


September to November 2016:  Introduction on The Lord’s Prayer

Many of us recite this most famous of prayers quite often. From time to time it is necessary to stop and reflect on some of its far-reaching petitions. That is what we will be doing from September until Advent.

  1. The first session we will reflect on the words ‘Our Father’. These words give the prayer a direction, why and where do they lead us?
  2. ‘Thy will be done’ is the theme of the second session. These are words that put our minds in gear. They are not easy words, ‘thy will be done’ means the handover of control or…?
  3. Nothing is more common than ‘our daily bread’ whether we think of toasted bread or about bruine boterhammen. Our daily bread is essential for our existence in more than one way.  Learn about the surprised Greek word translated as “daily”.
  4. The fourth session is about something very difficult, ‘as we forgive’. It is part of our christian faith, to forgive, is it possible for us? Let us share our thoughts and feelings about this.
  5. The fifth session brings us ‘in heaven’. This is the place Christians long for. We will go there after our death, do we believe ‘in heaven’ and why?
  6. In the sixth session we will choose a part of the Lord’s prayer ourselves and reflect on that. Everything is possible.


Lent Bible Study 2016

From Tuesday February 16th onwards we will have a weekly Bible Study as part of Lent season.

During the Lent series we will read the gospel of St John 12: 20 -16:15 in combination with guided Christian meditation and prayer led by Madeleine de Boer.

  1. Tues Feb 16 – John 12: 20-47
  2. Tues Feb 23 – John 13: 1-30
  3. Tues March 1 – John 13: 31-14:14
  4. Tues March 8 – John 14: 15 -15: 8
  5. Tues March 15 – John 15:9 16:15

After Lent (April 12 & 26) we intend to close Christ prayer and lessons with John 16: 16 – 17: end (the promise of the Holy Spirit and his prayers for his disciples and the ones who will believe in Him).

The Holy Trinity Church Bible study evenings will include instruction in Christian meditation and prayer. During meditation and prayer you turn inward, in silence, and let go of physical tensions and the rush of every days life to be open to the voice and enjoyment of God.

Saint Augustine says: “God waits on the threshold of your heart”.

For more information about meditation and prayer you can contact: [email protected]

All of you are most welcome to join the Bible Study.

Starting time is 20 hours. Coffee or tea at 19.45, end time is 21.45.

May it be a blessed Lent for all of us.

Danielle Los – 030 236 8572

Hans Baars, [email protected]

Advent Bible Study 2015

Tuesday November 24 we started with a weekly Bible study for the Advent.

In our days we know about travellers like Joseph and Mary and coming from other cultures like the wise men.

Flight to Egypt, Giotto

What’s different if we compare our time with 2000 years ago?

  • We are 2000 years closer to what the prophets prophesied about the kingdom of peace.
  • We are 2000 years closer to the fulfilment of the promise given at Ascension day “This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”  Let’s prepare for his Advent (adventus (L) = coming).

All of you are most welcome to join the Bible Study.

The themes for the coming weeks are:

  • December 1 (preparing Advent 2) – Bethlehem – Glory to God
  • December 8 (preparing Advent 3) – Egypt – we are strangers
  • December 15 (preparing Advent 4) – New Jerusalem – we come home

Starting time is 20 hours. Coffee or tea at 19.45, end time is 21.45.

Danielle Los – 030 236 8572
Hans Baars, [email protected]

Bible Study in Autumn 2015

The focus in the previous 12 months was on women in the Bible to learn from their lives, their relations with God and other people and their role in fulfilling Gods plan.

First we studied the life of women from the Old Testament.  After Lent we continued with the life of Jewish women, e.g. witnesses of Christ’s life and resurrection and gentile women who became believers through the spreading of the gospel, as mentioned in the New Testament.

In the coming period we hope to study the Biblical vision about the Church as the Bride of Christ and the letters given to the Apostle John to the seven churches in Asia (Revelation 2 and 3).

We start this new Bible Study series on the Church as the Bride of Christ on Tuesday Sept 9.

The Bible Study will be held in the Parsonage, on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month

Starting at 8pm.

Coffee/tea at 7:45pm

NB Everybody is welcome. Let we as brothers and sisters in the Lord, have a fruitful growth in being Christ’s church!

Danielle Los – 030 236 8572

Hans Baars, [email protected]


We continue with stories about women in the New Testament.

  • May 12 – Mary the mother of Jesus – with . A focus on dedication
  • May 26 – Dorcas – with a focus on serving and brotherly/sisterly love

As in the previous months the approach will be: What can we learn from the life and acting of these women for:

  • our private life as Christians,
  • as Holy Trinity community,
  • as worldwide church on her way to the Kingdom of God,
  • for our service to the world?

NB Everybody is welcome. Let we as Christians, as brothers and sisters in the Lord, have a fruitful growth in being Christ’s Church! In the last fewmonths there has been a growing number of participants, more are welcome!

Starting at 20 hours at the Parsonage. Coffee or tea at 19.45, end time is 21.45.

Danielle Los – 030 236 8572
Hans Baars – [email protected]


In April we return to our twice-monthly schedule (after the weekly study in Lent). In our studies we continue with stories about women in the New Testament. 

April 14 Mary Magdalene as (first) witness of the risen Christ.

April 28the Samaritan women, with focus on the well of living water as reference to the Holy Spirit and Pentecost.

As in the previous months the approach will be – what can we learn from the life and acting of these women for:

  • our private life as Christians;
  • as Holy Trinity community;
  • as worldwide church on her way to the Kingdom of God;
  • for our service to the world?

We start each evening at 8pm. Coffee or tea is at 19.45, end time is 21.45.

Everybody is welcome! The studies are an opportunity also for Christian fellowship and to pray for one another. Let us have together, as Christians, as brothers and sisters in the Lord, a fruitful growth in being Christ’s Church!


Praise Him – songs of praise in the New Testament

“five excellent thought-provoking biblical reflections … a reliable resource, produced with a high degree of professionalism“ (Church Times review 23 January 2015)

We are used to singing hymns of praise when we go to church but often we miss the hymns and poems that are there in the New Testament. This course will explore four different Songs of Praise from the New Testament, looking at what they tell us about God and Jesus but also reflecting on what they tell us about us and our faith.

  1. Gratitude  (Ephesians 1.3-14) Mar 3

Spiritual Blessings in Christ

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places…………….

  1. Image of God (Col 1.15-20) Mar 10  The Pre-eminence of Christ

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible……

  1. Humility (Philippians 2.5-11) Mar 17

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God …….

  1. New birth (1 Peter 1.3-12) Mar 24  Born Again to a Living Hope

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope



We continue with studying the life of women from the Old Testament.

A structure can be: what can we learn from the life and acting of these women for:

  1. our private life as Christians,
  2. as Holy Trinity community,
  3. as part of a worldwide Church expressing and on her way to the Kingdom of God,
  4. for our service to the world?

Coming sessions:

Tuesday Feb 10    Deborah and Hannah

Tuesday Feb 24    Bathsheba and Esther

For personal preparation you might use material from one of these websites:


During Lent the focus will be on a special Lent theme (not yet decided).  This as a break in the year program.

After Easter we will continue the Bible study on the life of the two women who were witnesses of Christ’s resurrection and after Pentecost the life of a Gentile and a Jewish women who found Christ through the spreading of the gospel, as mentioned in the New Testament.

After the summer break we hope to study the Biblical vision about the church as the bride of Christ.

NB Everybody is welcome. Let we as Christians, as brothers and sisters in the Lord, have a fruitful growth in being Christ’s Church!

Danielle Los – 030 236 8572
Hans Baars, [email protected]

Weekly Bible Study
in Advent 2014

Advent is the time of preparing for Christ’s coming. Angels and persons involved burst out in singing! Will we be ready to sing Gods glory and speak prophetic words when Christ comes again?

During Advent we will read, study and sing each Tuesday another song from the Bible related to Christ first coming. Let’s pray that we find a connection to our current circumstances and be prepared for His second coming, His coming again in glory. Maranatha!

We meet in the Parsonage hall from 20.00 till 21.45, coffee or tea at 19.45.

Tuesday November 25: The Magnificat – the song of Mary – Luke 1:46-55

Tuesday December 2: The Benedictus – the song of Zechariah – Luke 1:68-79

Tuesday December 9: The Nunc dimitis – the song of Simeon – Luke 2:29-32

Tuesday December 16: The Song of the Angels – Luke 2:14

Everybody is very welcome. It is an opportunity also for Christian fellowship and to pray for one another. Let us have together, as Christians – as brothers and sisters in the Lord, a fruitful preparation for Christ’s coming!

Danielle Los – 030 236 8572
Hans Baars – [email protected]

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