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Gossip disguised as prayer requests?


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  #1  
September 6th, 2009, 06:06 PM
m.and.a
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I've just recently become aware of this problem in the small group I co-lead, and I'm ashamed to say, that I haven't even been aware of it, but have probably absolutely encouraged it. At the end of our group we typically take prayer requests- and in slips the devil disguised as prayer.

How do you handle gossip that is disguised as a prayer request? In this case, I am sure- like me- that this wasn't and isn't the design, but I am sad to see the devil slipping in on what should be the end of our study of the Word.

ETA: Also for those of you who are in Bible Study or in some small group setting- how are your prayer requests handled? Do you write them on a sheet of paper, pass a hat, have a free for all (what we're currently doing). I love this group as they were my own family, and as a leader, I feel responsible for keeping us on track and behaving correctly.

Last edited by m.and.a; September 6th, 2009 at 08:49 PM.
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  #2  
September 6th, 2009, 10:54 PM
docsmomma's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Our DOK group updates our churches prayer list each month. What we have done to prevent gossip is just mention the person/family who needs prayer and what kind of prayer, without going into specifics if its not us we are talking about (or our immediate family).

So we would say something like "XXXX needs prayer for comfort/healing/job search/etc..." If its something involving our own immediate family (those living in our home) we might give a little more detail (I might say "JOey needs prayer for healing and protection. His LCH didn't respond to the last treatment so we're on high dose treatment now and his immune system will be gone soon"). This way we only give the basics and don't go into too much detail, allowing for less gossip. We used to have ALOT of gossip in the form of prayer requests and it wasn't somethign we even realized was happening.
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  #3  
September 7th, 2009, 01:58 PM
Orangebrittainy's Avatar Queen of Randomocity
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Its not something I have thought about... Could you give me an example?
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  #4  
September 7th, 2009, 05:33 PM
m.and.a
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Say a parent asks for a prayer request of a child and ends up going into her dating problems and eating disorder issues. Or a child asks for prayers for a parent and mentions that she didn't go to church last week, but did this week and did not take Communion.

I think it is a common problem in groups, and not a lot of people realize that gossip is even happening. The specifics aren't edifying to God, and without the person there to defend themselves, it doesn't help them either.
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  #5  
September 8th, 2009, 09:13 AM
melissa.'s Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Wow. This is a really good point. I never really realized how much gossip happens as prayer requests... I will definitely be more conscious of it now..
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  #6  
September 8th, 2009, 01:49 PM
Orangebrittainy's Avatar Queen of Randomocity
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I guess it does happen alot. I don't think anyone in my church has really payed it any mind.
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  #7  
September 10th, 2009, 05:08 PM
New_England_Girl's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Our church has really had to be careful about that. We were actually asked a few years ago to learn to keep our requests short and sweet unless it was a praise report. Can't get too much of that!
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  #8  
September 14th, 2009, 12:28 PM
JJW JJW is offline
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Our church usually only says the persons name or family of said person. Occasionally someone will be more specific if it is for their family, ie. pray for "A" as he is going in for testing or "B" needs prayer because of illness(stress, accident, etc) but no more specifics.

I have always wondered why our new church was that way. Now I see that the church I grew up in was in fact carrying on a lot of gossip. I knew some of the people there were very gossipy, just never realized how it incorporates into prayer requests.
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