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.