Teaching Prayer and Share
Held immediately after the Kairos Weekend, the Instructional Reunion is to encourage the Participants to become part of the on-going, Spirit-sustaining Kairos community through their active participation in a weekly small Prayer and Share fellowship.
Those Residents who attended the weekend are responding to the very deep need to be known, to be wanted, to be needed and be loved. Their experiences and needs can be met in Kairos. It is the purpose of the Instructional Reunion to teach the Participants how to meet those needs for one another in the prison environment.
At the Instructional Reunion, the Residents learn about one-on-one praying and sharing in a closely knit group. These Prayer and Share group meetings are usually held weekly and are open to all who have attended a Kairos Weekend.
Everything which the Kairos volunteers have done up to now has had as its ultimate goal the formation of the Prayer and Share group fellowships. The most powerful tool given us by the Holy Spirit is the Prayer and Share Prayer group, of which Christ is a permanent member.
As members of Kairos, we must not forget that the establishment of on-going, Sprit-filled Prayer and Share groups is our goal. When Team attend Prayer and Share meetings it is not uncommon, and is in fact the norm, for Residents to ask the Team members to join their group.
No matter how much it is appreciated by the Residents, a volunteer’s presence in their Prayer and Share fellowship inhibits the openness and vulnerability of the small group members. In other words, the volunteer is an outsider who will have a detrimental impact on the intimacy of the group.
- Grouping Card Process
A key to rewarding Prayer and Share grouping is the use of the Grouping Card that the Residents received during the weekend or Instructional Reunion. The Residents must be encourged to use the card as the structure of each group meeting. After saying the Kairos Community Prayer, the card instructs each member of the group to respond to five questions.
- Understanding the Prayer and Share Group Meeting
STEP 1. “JESUS, COME JOIN US…”
The Prayer and Share Group has but one leader, Jesus Christ. A member of all groups, He is invited at the begining of each “to come and sit with us.”
STEP 2. “KNOWING CHRIST’S PRESENCE”
- It is not uncommon in grouping to hear the Residents say, at this point, “My girlfriend came to visit,” or “I hit a homerun softball game yesterday,” or “I got a letter from home this morning.” These may all be close moments but they are not close moments with Christ. In every event, they are close moments with oneself.
- First, if one is going to be close to Christ, one is going to have to go to where Christ would go and where Christ does go as indicated by the life story which we have of Him in scripture.
- The second way to think about being close to Christ is in being close to His mind, to His “mind set,” to His way of thinking, to His own spirituality… His own faith. To use the phrase of Paul, one should come “to know the mind of Christ.”
- The third thing about a close moment is that it should enhance one’s sense of belonging to a body, to the Body. Christians are not in the body just for themselves; they are part of the body of Christ. They love one another, they forgive one another, and they are forgiven by one another.
- A forth thing about being close to Christ is that it involves humility. It is an understanding of the fact that we have so little to give and Christ has so much to give us.
- The fifth thing is that a close moment to Christ will often be a moment of deep insight into oneself. It will change one’s view of life or the world in some way to move one toward growth in Christ.
STEP 3. WHAT HAVE YOU DISCOVERED”
This step should really read, “Share the new insights into Jesus, the Christ, which have come to you through your study this week.”
Each of us has enjoyed that exhilarating experience of reading passages of scripture for the twentieth time and suddenly having the Holy Spirit enliven it. What had heretofore been a rather flat and mundane group of words suddenly becomes a new revelation of what it means to live in Christ.
The next week, we come to our Prayer and Share Group, clutching this new insight as a rare gift from God, sent through us, to build those brothers/sisters we love so much in Christ.
STEP 4. “HAVE YOU HELPED SOMEONE RECOGNIZE GOD’S LOVE”
This should be a re-telling of an event in which we were able to bring Christ’s love in us as a sacrifice to the freeing of some bound part of a brother/sister. Or it needs to be the re-telling of an event in which we were so able to die to ourselves that God’s will for us in our relationship with someone else became possible.
STEP 5. “WHEN WAS IT DIFFICULT TO SHOW CHRIST’S LOVE”
A sense of false humility sometimes limits our abilities to recount our successes in their fullness. Egos quite often prohibit our recounting our failures. Our tendency to think that only the good and grand actions are worthy of reporting rob our brothers/sisters of what might prove to be their close moment with Christ for the day or even the week.
STEP 6. “THANKSGIVING AND SHARED STRUGGLES”
Benchmarks of Christian spirituality during the Kairos Weekend are the thanksgiving times. These times were incorporated into the 3 1/2 days because, when we removed the Eucharist from the Weekend, we no longer had any designated place for us to offer thanksgivings to the Lord. The word Eucharist itself means “thanksgiving.”
On the Weekend, it it firstcomers’ time when the Participants are full of gratitude but not yet secure enough to talk to each other about the experiences they are having. By that time, the Team has created “a safe place” for the Participants. They now feel secure enough to share their joy with God.
STEP 7. ‘ CLOSE WITH THE LORD’S PRAYER”
OVERVIEW AND PURPOSE
Monthly Reunions are attended by the entire inside Kairos Community as well as the Kairos Team members that served on previous 3 1/2-day Weekends, and are led by the Resident Kairos Community Leader, who has been chosen by the Chaplain. It is a time of celebration of Christ’s love, forgiveness and renewal. During the Reunion typical activities may include prayer, praise, fellowship, the witness of Resident community members, a very short talk by a Team member selected by the Advisory Council, and may also include Prayer and Share grouping.
Two Day Retreat
THE TWO-DAY RETREAT
All Residents who have made a 3 1/2-Day Weekend are allowed to attend a Retreat held twice each year. These Retreats typically are held at the mid-point between the Weekends.
The primary purpose of the Two-Day Retreats is to give those not yet grouping some experience in the process of becoming vulnerable to other persons in the small group setting. Also, it encourages group discussion about the return of those who have drifted from the Kairos community.
The Retreat consists of eight talks, small group discussions about the talks, community and one-on-one prayer, meditations, a Q&A panel discussion and music. In some cases, fresh fruit and beverages are served. The Retreat Leader opens the retreat with an introductory talk that explains how the Weekend will work and establishes the family groups. Each talk, its discussion and prayer time will last approximately 30 minutes.