Praying together increases the faith of a congregation to believe God for the miraculous. In Matthew 17 and Mark 9 there is the story of the father who brought his demon-possessed son to the disciples. They could not cast it out. The boy was taken to Jesus, who spoke a word and the demon left. Later the disciples come to Jesus and they were baffled. Why? Because they knew how to cast out demons. (The story takes place after they had been sent two-by-two into villages casting out demons and healing the sick.) They asked Jesus why they couldn’t do it. Jesus said two things: “because you have so little faith” (Mt. 17:20), and “this kind can come out only by prayer” (Mk. 9:29).
I wonder if the disciples attacked this demon issue cavalierly or routinely. They knew the words to say, the steps to take. But nothing worked because they were not prayed up enough. Their faith was not there as a result. There is a clear connection between prayer and faith (beyond the fact that we are supposed to pray in faith).
I believe the most significant thing that is lost in a church that does not have corporate prayer is faith. The main reason most churches are stagnant and do not see God at work in miraculous ways in their midst? Most churches and individuals do not know what it is to pray in faith anymore. But faith grows as we pray together.
Father, forgive my lack of faith! Release me from the stronghold of my own unwillingness to pray with others. Increase my faith to see You work in the midst of Your people…and even through my own life. Help me to see my faith grow as I stretch myself to willingly pray with other like-minded believers.
–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 for his holiness and righteousness. Thank him for promising to work all things together for good. Confess any coldness of heart. Commit yourself to becoming more and more conformed to the image of Christ (Rom. 8:29). Ask God to renew your love for him as it was when you first believed.
Ask God to lay on your heart those for whom he desires you to pray. Request the Holy Spirit to show you how to pray for each person.
“Productive prayer requires earnestness, not eloquence.” —Anonymous
–Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend.