The Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:26-28)
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.” (Acts 13:2)
And when they had prayed, 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)
“Most people’s prayers seek the best fix for a situation. We typically pray whatever we are told to pray for a situation, with no real thought of “What does God want to do here.” Something happens to that dynamic, however, when people pray together. They start to let go of their desires to see their purposes fulfilled and start to open themselves up to what God wants.
“The value of this to any church is huge when it comes to ministry and decision-making. If people pray together over an issue, even if people come to prayer thinking they know what the church should do, praying together opens them up to God’s desire.
“Years ago, I was a part of a church plant in Colorado Springs that was meeting in a school. We felt the Lord leading us to purchase land. We found two pieces of property—one was very close to the school and 42 of our families, the other was five miles away. That distance was not a big deal, but it was not in the neighborhood we had been ministering in for the past five years. The property close to us cost 1.5 million, the other $450,000. Many of us felt the issue was not the difference in price, but where God wanted us. Pray, figure that out, and He will provide. There were plenty of leaders on both sides of which piece to purchase. We started praying together. We even called a corporate prayer meeting on one of the pieces of property. As we did that God began to put a vision of the ministry we could have on the $450,000 piece of property into those of us who wanted the other piece. That is what God will do when we pray together—agreement comes so we can pray His will with confidence.
People who are disgruntled with decisions a church has made usually have not prayed with the body over that issue. So, pray together and watch unity grow.
“Righteous Father, how You must grieve when Your people fuss and want their own way instead of coming together to pray so that You can guide hearts toward unity. Show me how to be one who always suggests prayer over getting what I want. Give me a heart that is yielded to what You desire rather than what seems best to me. Fill me with joy in Your house of prayer as You bring our faith family together on our knees.”
Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. (John 14:13)
Adapted from the article The Benefits of Praying Together by Jonathan Graf