What is Gap Sisters
“What is A Gap Sisters Group?” A Gap Sisters group is a prayer group that can be formed in any venue. Gap stands for “God Answers Prayer”. Gap sisters “Stand in the Gap” for and with each other. Our Gap Sisters group started with two women meeting together to pray for their husbands and family. Word spread and within a few weeks it was not just two women, it was a group of women. Before long, we needed a real room. (We had been sneaking into the Bride’s Changing Room at our church). Our group has now been meeting for nine years.
Some helpful things to keep in mind when starting a Gap Sisters group are: CONFIDENTIALITY IS A KEY! This is one of the biggest factors that must be strictly maintained. In fact, it is a good idea to have this policy written down and have new people sign that they understand that what is prayed for is not to be shared – even if it is a “praise”. One thing I have had to fight is the urge from some of the sisters to “Share things with their husbands”. I understand this desire to share as they feel they are “one in the flesh” so why can’t they share? This should really be discouraged. In fact, if your Gap Sisters group develops an email loop (more on that in a bit), please ask that the email address be a private one – not the family email loop. Well meaning husbands, can sometimes ask about things to other husbands that are not public knowledge. There is nothing worse than people outside the group knowing about things that were shared in total confidence. Really pray about this. If you have problems with this, don’t let confidential things be shared. Keep the requests “light”. Tell your ladies to share only things that would not be damaging if it got out if you are not willing to run a tight ship on this issue. A rule of thumb to use is: If the person is not part of the problem, part of the solution or part of the group, they do not need to know. Period. And if they are one of the first two categories in the equation, the person giving the request is the ONLY one that should share it with either of them.
The second key is REQUIRE REGULAR ATTENDANCE. This is another issue that if you have an email loop, becomes an important factor. Your Gap Sister group is a sisterhood. It is not a drop and go prayer group. There are many outlets for people that simply want prayer. They can call the Brooklyn Tabernacle Prayer line for example. Our church, Southeast Christian Church, has a prayer line. Many churches have one. Some churches offer prayer at a designated spot at a designated time. A Gap Sisters Group is NOT that kind of prayer. Gap Sisters pray WITH EACH OTHER. This is very necessary. The relationships become very deep and caring when the people pray together. We fill out a little slip of paper that we exchange with one another that lists what the Gap Sister prays for her prayer buddy that week. We ONLY use initials so that if it gets dropped, there is less likelihood of anyone knows whose paper it is. Another fun thing we have done is made magnets with a picture of a Gap Sister and when you are praying for her that week, you have her picture on your refrigerator. This is a good way to get to know new ladies. We exchange a slip or a picture with one person and they pray for me, I pray for them.
Often, we will pray as a group in “pop-corn” fashion for the requests given that week. Sometimes we will all gather around a sister and lay hands on her and pray if she is going through something particularly serious.
Some tips are: Starting a private, invitation-only email loop can be a valuable asset to the group. We have a Yahoo Group and when a lady has visited out class several times, we invite her to “join the loop”. We have an auto-reminder on the loop that gets sent out once a month that a lady MUST attend at least once a month, unless there are extenuating circumstances, because again, this is not a post-your-request group, nor is it a group where people get to know our stuff but they never share their stuff. Speaking from experience, you MUST ADHERE TO THIS. If you keep this boundary non-negotiable you will have a much better group.
We just recently formed a “Gap Sisters Alumni and Friends” loop, which is not so confidential. We post upcoming events which some of our past sisters might like to join us for, general praises about things that are public knowledge, and we let them post prayer requests to that loop if they need prayer as we still care about them, but we do not put out our private, heart-felt “stuff” on that loop. I am sure there are other venues besides yahoo but that is the one we are currently using. The settings are invitation ONLY. We have two administrators. I highly recommend that. It is good for accountability and it is good for sharing the work.
Another piece of advice is purging the archives often – about once a month. This is so important as new people join and it is good to have clean archives so things that may have been problems which are now resolved, are not topics that can be researched on your loop.
Ok, the last topic is that of the tendency for the group to constantly want to become an “advice-and-then-pray” group. PLEASE RESIST THIS TREND! Sometimes it will be very hard not to let others in the group that may have experience with a particular situation share with the sister that is requesting prayer. But if you will channel the conversation back to praying, rather than discussing, your group will grow. The power that is given when it is GOD that answers, rather than the advice of man in the situation cannot be undervalued. PRAYER REALLY CHANGES THINGS!!