Why Corporate Prayer Is Important

by Jack Wellman · Print Print · Email Email

Corporate prayer is where a large group or church prays, so why is corporate prayer so important?

Commanded to Pray

Jesus once spoke “a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart” (Luke 18:1). Here we hear about the meaning of the Parable of the Persistent Widow, before it even starts. We are not to lose heart in this life but rather we ought to pray as often as we can and not give up. Jesus was a Man of prayer. In fact, one night “he went out to the mountain to pray, and all night he continued in prayer to God” (Luke 6:12). How many of us would be able to pray all night? Not many or any is my guess. Jesus plainly tells us that we ought to always pray (Luke 18:1), even praying for those who curse us (Luke 6:28). It’s not a matter of if we pray, but when we pray, as Jesus put it (Luke 11:2).

With One Accord

I wished now that I had written down the dozens of miracles I’ve heard about when corporate prayer was offered and God answered in a supernatural way. He answered in a way that only an act of God could explain. Sometimes these miracles defy nature; they are contrary to natural laws, and they are acts that would not normally happen in the same time and space. It was the custom of the early church to break bread and pray together (Acts 2:42). This fellowship was contagious and the church grew (Acts 2:47). Early one, “All these with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers” (Acts 1:14).

The Power of Prayer

God’s power was displayed in a mighty way, showing God heard the prayers of the early church and answered immediately. One time, just after the early church prayed for the gospel to be proclaimed with boldness, “the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness” (Acts 4:31). God answered this corporate prayer immediately. Will God answer only one person’s prayer? Of course (Acts 10:2-4), but when the church was so unified by the Spirit that they had “all things in common” (Acts 4:32), and were praying for the same purpose, God answered quickly and miraculously, emboldening those who shared the gospel. Seeing miraculous signs has a way of strengthening your resolve to share Christ, no matter what place or circumstance you may find yourself. Jail or not…death or not, they were bold in their proclamation of Jesus’ gospel of repentance and believing the gospel (Mark 1:15).

Corporate Prayer

Don’t you feel better if you know several people are praying for you? I do. Now, compare that to your friend as the only person praying for you. Of course you appreciate your friend’s prayers, but what if you had the chance to have others pray for you; maybe 10 or even 20 or more? When churches or a large or small group of believer’s are all of one accord, and have “all things in common,” they can be praying for the same things and for the same purposes. Those purposes include God being glorified, souls being saved, and the church sharing the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ with the lost. It makes me feel good to know that I’m on a church’s prayer list. To know that there are other saints praying for you or for me gives me peace of mind. Of course, we must pray for them too as we’re supposed to pray for one another, love one another, and build up one another.

When the saints of God storm heaven with dozens of prayers, God will hear, and who knows, maybe He’ll act supernaturally for you. There is something awesome about a church praying for the same thing, like the needs of the saints or for lost souls. To think that others out there in the church may be praying for someone…maybe someone they’ve never even met, is a very special thing to God, and to me too! It moves me deeply to know we are all of one accord and have all things in common, like the need to glorify God (Psalm 115:1), to love one another (John 13:34-35), to pray for one another, and to share Christ.

A Sweet Offering

I believe that God loves to hear our prayers. Many never even ask and so do not receive (James 4:2-3), so by all means pray and ask God for your daily bread, daily needs, and the needs of others. Pray as often as you can. The Book of Revelation describes our prayers as a sweet smelling offering to God, like sweet incense. That’s what our prayers seem to represent (Rev 5:8), and it’s almost as if they’re being stored for us (Rev 8:3-4), to be revealed to us in that great day when Jesus comes or we pass into glory. If you’re a parent and your child comes up to you with a legitimate need (not want, but need), aren’t you eager to answer their request? I know I am, if I can, but God is not limited by time or resources. He can do as He pleases to answer prayer, and sometimes in ways we’d never have thought of ourselves. He always knows the best answered prayer for us, no matter what His answer turns out to be (Rom 8:28).

Conclusion

God is pleased when we dwell together in unity, being of one accord, and having all things in common. God hears and answers our corporate prayers in ways that sometime defy explanation, but that’s okay. He is God. He is more glorified when He surprises His children. Join your prayers with mine and with your local Body of Christ. A church that prays together, stays together. The greatest tragedy of prayer is the prayers never prayed.

Here is some related reading for you: 10 Prayer Tips: How to Talk to God

Resource – Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), Crossway Bibles. (2007). ESV: Study Bible: English standard version. Wheaton, Ill: Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.



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