How can I prepare a room for dynamic corporate prayer?
The way a room is set up can have a great bearing on the depth of the prayer that happens there. This is not the most important factor, but it is a factor. You want to remove as many distractions as possible. Generally speaking, try to find a room that is the right size for your group. Also, because hearing one another is important, the best arrangement in most cases would be to form the chairs in a circle or concentric circles.
If it is a larger group, it works well to have the inner circle have about 20- 30 chairs. There does not need to be a “front” with a podium, etc. because the facilitator(s) should sit with the others. In fact, there is value in the facilitator moving from place to place for different sessions so no “front” develops. The chairs should have a little space between them and there should be a few aisles so people can get to each chair fairly easily.
If there is a reason to set the room up differently then don’t be bound by this. Your time of prayer may lend itself to having no chairs for a session, or chairs set in a certain location to depict (for example) the tabernacle, or set around tables, or in a retreat setting around a fireplace, etc. You may want to start a session with people in small groups, so setting the chairs in that manner will make that happen smoothly.
You will also want to think through the noise factor and the heat factor. Will the furnace or air conditioner or some other machine (like a lawn mower) be a distraction? A room that is too warm will cause people to drift off. A room that is too cold will cause people to only be thinking about how they can warm up. The key is to think this through and have a reason for how you set up the room. As much as possible let the room arrangement be your servant. Let it serve your (and the Lord’s) purposes.
*Blessed by Doing – consider the physical arrangement of the room where your group prays. Should you make any adjustment to make it more conducive to prayer?