In 2 Chronicles 6-7 we see the dedication of Solomon’s Temple. While “the whole assembly of Israel was standing there” (2 Chron. 6:3) Solomon prays a dedicatory prayer in which he invokes the presence of God. “Now, my God, may your eyes be open and your ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place. Now arise, O LORD God, and come to your resting place, you and the ark of your might. May your priests, O LORD God, be clothed with salvation, may your saints rejoice in your goodness” (6:41-42). Of course the presence of God entered with dynamic power.
There is a different atmosphere in churches that pray together and who have praying people. Worship seems more powerful. There is a sense of connection with God that is not there in non-praying churches. Praying together invites the presence and power of the Holy Spirit. A number of years ago at our prayer leader’s convention, Dr. Tommy Barnett, pastor of First Assembly of God Church in Phoenix, Arizona, said, “The presence of God in the midst of a church is directly proportional to the amount of prayer that takes place there.”
When the Spirit of God is manifestly present, other things happen. People hear Him speak, giving direction and encouragement. The church in Antioch saw this truth in action: “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). During a normal time of prayer and worship, the Holy Spirit gave crucial direction that forever changed the world—Saul (Paul) began his missionary work.
He will do that as you pray together as a congregation.
Gracious Holy Spirit, fall upon the community of believers with whom I worship and change the atmosphere so that Your power is able to ignite us towards praying Your kingdom purposes! We have grown dull and complacent, and our prayers seem perfunctory and superficial. Awaken our spirits to the Presence of the King in our midst! Teach us how to pursue His agenda and align our hearts with it! Transform our faith community into a house of prayer for all nations!
–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.
Praise God as the one who sets up leaders and deposes them (Dan. 2:21). Give thanks for your own opportunities to lead others. Confess any negligence or cowardice in leadership. Commit yourself to being a leader of integrity wherever God gives you influence. Ask God to grant you wisdom as you influence your children, friends, employees, and others.
Pray for “all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness” (1 Tim. 2:2). Pray that leaders who uphold God’s principles will be brought to power throughout the world so that the gospel will be unhindered.
–Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend.