I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me (John 17:22-23).
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 a 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.
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.
–Adapted from the article The Benefits of Praying Together by Jonathan Graf. Check out this powerful resource also written by Jon Graf: Praying Like Paul: Learning to Pray the Kingdom for those You Love, available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.
Worship God with reverence and awe as a consuming fire blazing with holiness (Heb. 12:28-29). Give thanks for his plan to refine your faith through trials and tests (Jas. 1:2-4). Confess any times this week when you have not seen God’s purpose for you in these trials (Mal. 3:2-4). Commit yourself to submitting to God’s testing in your life. Ask God to strengthen you with his power (Eph. 6:10-11).
Pray for those who are undergoing severe testing, that God may show them his purpose and strengthen them in their weakness (Heb. 12:7-13).
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