Why pray together? Life before everything changed in 2020 was so busy with work, school, home, extracurricular activities, church and more. We used to gather together for Bible study, worship, service opportunities, and fellowship. Now that things have changed we value what we used to take for granted. Togetherness.
But one thing hasn’t changed and that is the foundation of the Word calling us to gather together. And we are to spend time together in prayer.
Of course, we can always just pray on our own, when it fits into our personal schedules best. God hears us when we call out to Him when we are alone. He teaches in Matthew 6:6, “But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”
I love my time alone at Jesus’ feet. I need that time, but I have learned that I also need to pray with others regularly.
Years ago, I was invited to join a ladies prayer group for an hour of prayer each weekday morning. I declined the invitation for months. I would laugh and say God didn’t want to talk to me that early in the morning. Then He began to wake me up even earlier and lay that prayer group on my mind. I wrestled a lot during that time. I didn’t want to get out of bed early. I didn’t see the point of getting together when I could just pray by myself at home. I was afraid to go and pray out loud. When I finally obeyed God’s leading and joined them, He drew me closer to Him beyond anything I would have imagined. He used those ladies to teach me many things, including how to pray.
Praying with others taught me to take my every request to God. Nothing is too big or too small for Him. One morning when I was praying with a couple of other ladies, there was a torrential downpour as we were wrapping up our prayer time. One of the women asked God to stop the rain so that we could get to our cars and homes safely. The rain immediately stopped and didn’t start again until I got home and my husband got to work. I couldn’t believe that she asked God to stop the rain and secondly that He answered that prayer! James 5:17-18 tells us, “Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit.” Even though I knew God’s Word teaches us to boldly bring our requests to God, I needed to hear someone pray like that to teach me to ask for what I needed no matter how big or insignificant the request seems.
Praying with others reminds me of who God is and what He has done. I get distracted easily. I get focused on my world, all my busy-ness, and my struggles. When I pray with others, my focus frequently gets shifted. When I hear others praising God, my mind moves back to Him, instead of staying on my own life. I remember praying with a brand new believer one Sunday morning for the services that day. Her simple prayer, “God, I’ve only known you for two weeks, but thank you for saving me,” melted my heart. Through that prayer, I was reminded of all that Jesus did for me. I had been so busy serving and praying for the details of the ministry that I had forgotten to simply worship and praise Him for the precious gift of salvation. Our prayers don’t need to be eloquent. They are simply a conversation with our Father in heaven. The simple prayers of others have brought me to God’s throne just as often as others who pray more eloquently.
Praying with others reminds me and inspires me to pray for things that aren’t on my radar at that time. I often add to my prayer list after hearing others pray. People don’t always ask for prayer, but they’ll pour out their heart to the Lord as we are praying. When I hear their heart, I cry out in agreement and often continue praying for that particular need.
Praying with others helps me focus. Sometimes, when I am praying alone, my mind wanders. I start out praying and before I know it, I’m distracted. When I pray with others, I am able to stay focused. After experiencing the Lord’s presence through unified, corporate prayer, I leave continuing to pray and hungry for more time at the feet of Jesus. Praying with others has strengthened my ability to spend more time in prayer.
Praying with others changes my priorities and desires. For a long season, I was asking God for a child and one of the ladies I was praying with told me that God was going to give me a baby because His word says, “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” I realized in that moment that my desires had changed. While I still wanted a baby, what I really wanted was to see my friend that we had been praying for to come to know Jesus. (God graciously answered both of those prayers soon after that conversation!)
Praying with others promotes unity. My love for others tends to grow as I spend time with them in prayer. I’m amazed at how God knits my heart together with others when I pray with them. Some of my best friends are ladies I have had the privilege to pray with for a season. I would not have been friends with those ladies normally because their personalities and interests are so different from mine.
Praying with others has been a huge blessing and growth opportunity for me. How about you? What has God taught you through praying with others? Do you have a prayer partner or group? Do you look for opportunities for corporate prayer? Would you be interested in joining others for prayer? Are you willing?
Every Thursday morning our Women’s Ministry meets to pray together, 9:00-9:30. What this means is we join together with one another and bring our praises, our concerns and our questions to the Lord’s feet. We would love to have you join us as we praise the One who longs to dwell in our midst and who hears us when we speak to Him.