As with prayer beliefs, the Bible sets appropriate standards, paradigms or examples relating to local church prayer practices. It presents the need for both personal and corporate prayer practices within the local church. People of prayer will produce congregations that pray. Praying people who practice a lifestyle of prayer will lead the church toward unceasing “one-accord” prayer (see Acts 4:24).
Personal and corporate prayer practices permeate the Old Testament. Jesus prayed alone, with and for His followers. The early Church, as seen in Acts and in the epistles, practiced individual and corporate prayer (see Acts 1:14; 2:42). Prayer community and culture should always be the goal (i.e., house of prayer motif, Mk. 11:17). Grenz correctly comments, “Prayer that occurs in solitude reaches outward to the communal prayer that we share together. At the same time, our participation together in communal prayer lays the foundation for the praying that we do alone. . . . even in the solitude of our private ‘prayer chamber’ we continue to say ‘Our Father.’”
–Adapted from Giving Ourselves to Prayer: An Acts 6:4 Primer for Ministry (Chapter 41, The Bible and Church Prayer by J. Chris Schofield).
Our Father, Your word offers powerful examples of men and women who individually and corporately teach Your Church to seek Your face! I recognize that corporate prayer is often neglected in the Church today, even though the Christian life is a journey that happens in community with others. May I be a useful vessel to encourage other believers to pray with one another so that we will continually “lift our voices together in prayer”? Teach us to willingly share our hearts with You and to focus on the concerns of Your heart for Your kingdom.
Focus on Jn. 15:1-17 for the next few days. Praise your Father, who is the gardener of your soul. Thank Jesus for being the true vine which nourishes and gives life to the branches. Confess moments when you’ve tried to sever your relationship to Jesus in some way. Commit yourself to welcoming God’s pruning in your life despite the pain it might bring. Ask God to make you more fruitful as you live for him.
Ask that your fruit-bearing will be attractive to unsaved people you know. Pray that they will “taste [of that fruit] and see that the LORD is good” (Ps. 34:8).
“God rules the world through the prayers of his people.” —Anonymous
–Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend
Each day you have prayed through some of the prayer points from the resource Patterns for Prayer. This prayer guide, which contains 365-days’ worth of scripture-based prayer points to pray for yourself, your friends, the lost, your church and the world, makes an excellent gift. It is now available at 50% off until January 1st. Normally $15.99, you can purchase it for $8 each. Buy two or more copies at $6.00 each. Click here for more information.