Sunday, April 01, 2007

Is Corporate Prayer Necessary?

Why Pray Together?

“The failure of the church today is the failure to engage in prayer intercession. The motor of this great ship called ‘the Church’ is corporate prayer. When the Church gathers, she should pray together in one accord, with one voice. When we, as God’s people, elevate and return prayer intercession to its rightful place, the Church will function as it is built to, with grace and power. Prayer is the power that unlocks the door of God’s treasure house… The Church’s ultimate effectiveness will be determined by its corporate prayer life." Franlk Damazio

Is corporate prayer really effective? Yes! Right now we are getting ready to pray together with as many Christians as possible from as many churches as possible in our region for the entire month of April. One-month 24-7 prayer is going to start this Sunday in three cities in our region - Richmond, Williamsburg and Virginia Beach, Virginia. It hasn’t been easy to put this together. It’s taken lots of hard work and many hours of praying in the early hours of the morning. Several of us have expended a huge amount of energy for this task and it’s taken a lot of sweat, faith and prayer. A few questions you may ask at a time like this are, “Why should we pray together? After all, isn’t praying alone or just as effective? Is there any advantage in praying as a group and working so hard to come together corporately?”

The Bible shows us the importance of praying together. Jesus expected His disciples to pray together, the early church prayed together, and there are several verses that show us some advantages to praying together. There is a different dynamic going on when we pray together in a group. I am not suggesting that individual prayer is of little importance. No, it is powerful and effective! But corporate prayer and intercession is even more powerful and effective than individual prayer. There is something that happens in the heavens when an entire city or region chooses to pray together. An amazing thing begins to occur through united prayer that brings heaven to earth in a special way.

What are the reasons for power in corporate prayer

“There has never been a spiritual awakening in any country or locality that did not begin in united prayer.” David Bryant

Why take all the trouble to come together to pray? Here are a few of the reasons:

· The Power of Agreement - Where two or more agree about an issue they are asking God for, and they are asking according to God’s will and purpose, He answers. The word “agree” means sympathy in the Greek, and it means to sound together in harmony with one another concerning what God wants. Imagine the power released when whole churches come together to pray in a city!

“Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven” (Matthew 18:19).

· The Power of Confirmation - When we pray together, we can test whether something is God’s will or just a good idea. God brings confirmation through corporate intercession

“This is the assurance we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us - whatever we ask - we know that we have what we asked of him (I John 5:14-15).

· The Power of the Church - When we pray together, we are not bringing our own concerns and needs but we are representing the Body of Christ before the throne of God. The Church has the authority to facilitate God’s will and purposes on the earth.

And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven" (Matthew 16:18-19).

· The Power of Togetherness - When we pray together, we encourage one another, and our own burdens seem to lighten. Our faith is ignited and we become stronger spiritually. We have experienced a change in our personal lives because of corporate prayer.

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another - and all the more as you see the Day approaching” (Hebrews 10:24-25).

· The Power of Revelation - God brings deeper revelation when we pray together. He gives stronger insight into truth for the city, the church and our own lives. We see this in the book of Acts.

While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, ‘Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.’ So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off” (Acts 13:2-3).

Getting a group of Christians to pray together is hard work! Nobody ever said it would be easy. Try starting and maintaining even a small prayer meeting. All hell fights against corporate prayer. When the believers in a city decide to pray together, the warfare intensifies. It’s because corporate prayer is just too powerful. Corporate prayer does just too much damage to the enemy’s plans in a city. Corporate prayer comes too close to bringing real revival in a city and even a nation. Is it any wonder that the battle rages? But the worth far surpasses anything any one of us could do alone. We need one another. Isn’t it time that we learn this simple truth? Isn’t this the season that we finally join forces and take back the nations for God and His Kingdom? The urgency of the time cries out for this.

“Unity is a revelation of the spirit of God that sees that only together can we get the results that God wants. I need my brother. I can’t do it alone. We must give ourselves away to one another and to Him. We must look at ourselves in a kingdom connection. It is in all of us, not one of us.” George Otis, Jr., Transformation video

Together in the Harvest,
Debbie Przybylski

Intercessors Arise

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