And He said to them, “It is written, “My house shall be called a house of prayer.’” (Matthew 21:13, NKJV)
Time spent alone with God in prayer and the Word is a vital part of our daily Christian walk. It refreshes us, strengthens us, and encourages us. It is impossible to develop a relationship with the Lord without the habit of daily prayer.
But there is another aspect of prayer that is equally important: praying together with other believers. Corporate prayer does not replace our prayer closet, but it complements it. We need both.
The church was birthed on the Day of Pentecost in a prayer meeting (Acts 2); and in the days following, the believers’ prayers shook Jerusalem. Thousands were baptized and filled with the Spirit. Wherever they went—in the Temple, in homes, or around the city—they prayed and things happened.
The early church prayed –
Prayer became a driving force in their lives. Otherwise, the church would have ceased to exist as the vibrant community of believers it became. Acts 2:42 says they “devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers” (ESV).
In some churches today, the prayer meeting has ceased to exist. Life is busy, and—well—who has time for one more things? (Haven’t we all thought that at some point?) We often say we want to be more like the church in the Book of Acts. If this is true, then we will place the same emphasis on prayer as they did. Otherwise, we lose something vital. E. M. Bounds said, “Prayer is our most formidable weapon, the thing which makes all else we do efficient.” Great things happen when we pray together.
- Praying together unites us (Romans 12:4-5; Philippians 2:1-2).
- Praying together increases our faith (I John 5:14-15).
- Praying together gives us boldness (Acts 4:29–31).
- Praying together helps us align ourselves with God’s will (Colossians 1:9).
- Praying together unleashes the power of “two or more” (Matthew 18:20).
- Praying together reminds us we are part of one body (I Corinthians 12).
- Praying together allows us to encourage and support each other (I Corinthians 14:26).
Just as prayer draws us closer to God, prayer also draws us closer to each other. Our love and concern for each other increases. We realize how much we need each other.
One of the things I appreciate about my apostolic heritage is that we pray aloud together. (Not all churches do.) As our prayers mingle, it’s like a mighty force unleashed in our midst. I confess, I sometimes pause just to listen as others pray, especially my pastor as he loses himself in the spirit of prayer. Something beautiful happens as our voices blend together. My spirit unites with theirs as we pray for a common purpose. Prayer pushes back the enemy and brings victory.
The apostles used the weapon of prayer to evangelize their world. We must do the same. As we see more and more events pointing to the soon coming of the Lord, it’s time to bind together in prayer.
Let’s have a prayer meeting!