Do we agree that God hears prayers and answers? Do we agree that our prayers can make a difference? If, for example, you doubt that God answers prayer and I believe that He does, how can we be agreed on anything concerning prayer?
Another thing we need to agree on is about what, exactly, we are praying. If, for example, you are praying for a friend to be able to make a move to another city, and I'm praying for that same person to stay in town, then we are not in agreement. There is no power in our prayer.
If, instead, we can both agree to pray for God's will to be done in this situation, then the prayer will be powerful. Agreeing on what we are praying about before we pray will mean the difference between ineffective and powerful prayers.
Leave the Outcome to God There are a surprising number of people who find praying in front of others very difficult. I used to be one of them. One of the main reasons for this difficulty is fear. People are afraid they won't do it very well. They've heard the eloquence of others' prayers and feel they have to live up to them.
But the truth is God looks on our hearts and not our proficiency as a public speakers. I still have to remind myself of that each time I get up to pray in front of a crowd, especially when the people who have gone before me prayed powerful prayers. I have had to learn to get over myself and just pray from the heart, no matter how simple the prayer.
Another reason I used to be intimidated to pray with and for others is that I was afraid God wouldn't answer my prayers. What if I prayed for healing for this person and they weren't healed? What if I prayed for a breakthrough in someone's life and nothing happened? What then?
It was faithless of me to think that way, I know. Plus, it was arrogant—as if getting the answers to my prayers was up to me. I finally realized that it was my job to pray. It was God's job to answer. I just had to do my job and let God do His. That realization freed me, and I was able to pray together with people whenever the opportunity presented itself.
Pastor Jack told a story about a missionary lady who was trapped with some people in a dry riverbed just as a flash flood came. The people immediately joined hands and withstood the power of that thing by strengthening one another. As they were united against the sweeping waters, their lives were spared. This is a perfect picture of why believers need to come together in prayer.
Collectively, we must stand strong against the things that would seek to wash away our lives and destroy them. When we find ourselves in serious circumstances, we can stand united with other believers and pray for one another.
When we join with other people to pray for one another, it forces us to verbalize our prayer needs and share our burdens. When we pray together for other people in the world, it not only releases them into all God has for them, it releases us as well.
A bond of love develops between us that is eternal. That's because you always grow to love the people for whom you pray—even those you don't know. You develop God's heart of love for them. And therein lies the true power of praying together with purpose.
Stormie Omartian is the author of many books.
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