One of the blessings, and responsibilities, that we have in the church is to pray. We are allowed and commanded to pray for many things, including ourselves, fellow Christians, those who have not committed to God, the sick, government leaders, and so much more. We should pray as a congregation during church service and individually outside of worship, but what about praying together through the week?
Praying is certainly a vital aspect of the Christian life. I Thessalonians 5:17 says, “Pray without ceasing.” God never asks us to do something that won’t further a cause; He truly hears us. James 5:17-18 says, “Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit.” God wouldn’t ask us to pray for things if it made no difference.
So, prayer is important. Let’s think about how the Bible discusses praying with others. Matthew 18:19-20 says, “Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” God hears prayers of individuals, but there seems to be added weight on prayers that are lifted up in pairs or groups.
Paul asked the church in Rome to pray with him for certain aspects of his ministry . “Now I beg you, brethren, through the Lord Jesus Christ, and through the love of the Spirit, that you strive together with me in prayers to God for me” (Romans 15:30). When someone has a need, we are supposed to help them through it. “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2).
We can also pray for each other when we have sinned. James 5:16 says, “Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” God will listen to His people, and His plan is for all of us to be saved if we will obey Him.
Just like our loved ones, God likes to hear when things go well. It is appropriate to thank Him for blessings and answered prayers. Let’s make sure we don’t get in the wish list mindset and forget to be grateful.
As we go through the week, let’s be mindful of how we pray. Do we check in with God as often as our family and friends? Let’s make sure we don’t neglect either the individual or communal aspect of our prayer lives. God likes to hear from each of us separately and as groups. Consider finding a prayer partner to encourage you and pray with you. A little extra fellowship doesn’t hurt. 🙂 While you’re praying, I would appreciate it if you would toss me in the mix. I am working on a couple projects that I’m going to share soon, and if you could remember them I’d be obliged.
May the Lord bless and keep you,