The Two Most Powerful Words in Prayer
We agree. Those are without exception the two most powerful words in prayer.
Jesus was an advocate of corporate prayer. He believed in it, practiced it, and taught about it. In fact, it’s difficult to overstate the significance that Christ placed on it. If you’re looking for pinpoint prayers that have off-the-charts potential, then learn to pray with other Christians.
CORPORATE PRAYER IN DECLINE
Why is the prayer meeting (for those churches that still have them) the least attended meeting in the church? Why are so few Christians comfortable praying out-loud with other Christians? Why don’t pastors and other spiritual leaders spend more time praying together? Why don’t more husbands and wives pray together? For all of the promise and authority that Jesus gave to group intercession, it sure gets little airtime in Christians’ lives today. It’s almost as if there was an organized effort bent on keeping Christians from praying together. Hmmmm . . . .
In Matthew 18:19-20, Jesus made two sweeping statements about the unlimited impact that corporate prayer could have in the church. He said, “Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them In other words, “Whenever believers gather together, I’m there.”
POWER IN NUMBERS
There is a powerful, mystical beauty in a simple meeting of believers. Jesus paid it the highest compliment and gave it the greatest authority possible. Jesus isn’t obligated to be anywhere, but he promised that when a group meets together in his name, even if there are just two of them, he will be there with them.
As a pastor, I find that very encouraging. It means that I don’t have to lead a large congregation to merit God’s presence. It means that women’s small group has just as much attraction to Jesus as a church’s worship service.
But these sweeping promises tell me something else. They tell me that a gathering of believers is more powerful that any other meeting on the planet. They tell me that a group of moms meeting to pray for their kids have more power and authority than a joint session of Congress. It means that a men’s accountability group that meets in Jesus’ name has more spiritual power than the Joint Chiefs of Staff has military power. It means that a family Bible study has more authority than a meeting of the U.S. Supreme Court. The most powerful gatherings in the world are those that meet in Jesus’ name. Because when they do, when they meet aligning with his purposes and seeking his glory, he is there with them.
SYMPHONY OF PRAYER
Jesus used a descriptive term to help his disciples understand why praying together is so powerful. Our English Bibles typically translate it as the word agree, but that doesn’t really do it justice. The word that Jesus used is the Greek word sumphoneo, and you can probably see its similarity to our word symphony.
When musicians unite together–each with their own special gifts and talents, each playing a different role and instrument–to produce a beautiful musical piece, it can be an incredibly moving and inspiring experience.
The same is true of God and prayer. He loves to hear the corporate, unified prayers of his people. That’s why Jesus elevated the prayer meeting to such a high level. It really is music to God’s ears.
BE A TEAM PRAY-ER
Christianity is not an individual sport. The path of the Christ-follower was clearly laid out by God to include community with other followers. Christians are designed to live in fellowship with other believers. Corporate prayer may be the most intimate expression of Christian unity.
When believers set aside their personal agendas and together seek God’s answers, they’ve broken into a new realm of pinpoint prayer. They’re in an entirely different prayer stratosphere. Quite frankly, there may be no more effective words Christians can say in prayer than, “Lord, we agree.” And when we agree, Jesus promised that God will give us what we ask.
Will you commit to praying regularly with other believers? Husband, will you agree to pray regularly with your wife? Parents, will you commit to praying daily with your family? Pastor, will you commit to meet regularly with other leaders for times of worship and intercession?
There’s too much power available to us through the medium of corporate prayer for us to not make it a regular part of our lives.