In the last post we looked at prayers we can make as individuals. In this post we look at prayers we make as part of a body.
Praying as a church
When the early church had their first encounter with hostility and were warned, ‘You must no longer preach in this name,’ they withdrew, rose above the challenge and prayed, ‘Sovereign Lord.’ They lifted their voices together and prayed. They really knew who was in charge.
One of the greatest privileges for a pastor or a team of elders is to lead people into believing prayer. Pray that you become a force to be reckoned with in your city – an invisible but awesome force. As elders you must teach your people to pray and believe God; you are releasing in your city an awesome power.
Praying in twos and threes
It is so sad to hear that verse quoted when not many people turn up at the meeting and someone groans, ‘Well as you said Lord, where two or three gather …’ One of my favourite ways of praying is with two or three!
One of the elders comes to my home every week. Just the two of us cry to God and as we pray we suddenly realise an hour has gone by. Whenever I can I get an hour together to pray. Praying with another guy who’s heart is one with your’s – what a privilege this is. A young man, Yohaan Philip who lives with us, often prays for an hour with me. When you pray with two or three, you get stimulated by what’s on their heart. The Spirit is dancing among two or three praying. There are terrific promises to two or three who gather. We agree together. Terrific power. It’s not ‘Oh it’s only two or three.’ It’s ‘Hallelujah it’s only two or three!’ That’s a promise to husband and wife teams. I love praying with Wendy.
Praying with 80,000
I had a letter some time ago from Jonathan Oloyede, a great black pastor in London. He is working towards gathering up to 80,000 in September later this year at Wembley for the day. A day of prayer for 80,000 people! Only God knows what our indebtedness will be to the praying black churches in this country in the long term.
All kinds of prayer in all kinds of ways. That’s what Paul says here. ‘Praying with all kinds of prayer on all kinds of occasions.’ It is important quickly to say this, we are a grace people. We don’t pray to impress or to score ‘brownie points’. We are complete in Him before we start and when we finish. We are righteous as a gift, hallelujah! We celebrate that truth but we also learn to pray. Get hold of this wonderful weapon of knowing God and proving God.
This post was adapted from the 3rd of three sermons on the Armour of God preached at Together on a Mission 2010