Prayer (1)

Course:  The Importance of Effective Prayer.

Lesson 6

Lesson Title:  The Strength of Corporate Prayer (Praying together)


Lesson Goal:  …that the student will understand that the body of Christ is made for fellowship and corporate prayer is essential to the body.


Text:  Matthew 18:19-20  'Again I say unto you, that if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.  For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.'


Theme:  The need for the Body of Christ to pray together.


Introduction:  New Testament Christianity is characterised by corporate prayer.

·        In the Acts of the Apostles the great prayers are made by the church together in unity and with one voice, Acts 4:24.

·        Jesus taught the disciples to pray as one saying ‘our Father', Matthew 6:9.   


Introductory Story:  Two people praying together in agreement has great power in prayer. 

Charles Finney:  ‘Two in Agreement’.


Charles G. Finney, the mighty revivalist, found many of the Lord's best secrets.  But this was one of His simplest and deepest secrets.  When he came to a new community for revival services, usually in the first meeting he would ask: ‘Has anyone heard from heaven! Is anyone hearing from God about these meetings?’  If, out of a large audience he found even one such faithful intercessor - one who had a burden from God and who had assurance of being heard - he would ‘agree’ with that person before God and continue before Him in such agreement in prayer, and would practically announce that God would give a revival in that place!   He would take on tremendous boldness and confidence at the mere finding of one such Christian in that area.

In keeping with this promise of two, Finney usually had a man of great prayer and intercession travelling with him, such as Abel Clary at one period and ‘ Father’ Nash, as he was called, at another.  Nash often did not even appear in the public meetings, but gave himself almost continually to prayer during the services.  Finney preached backed by this secret prayer agreement.  He seldom failed to witness strong revival in the wake of his preaching.


(Taken from art. 'Praying the Way Christ Teaches' by Armin R. Gesswein, c.1963)



There is power in prayer…

1.      …when two or more are in agreement.  Matt 18:19  'Again I say unto you, that if two of you shall agree(sumphone) on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.'

·        Being in 'agreement' – in the Greek ‘sumphone’ (symphony).  Not just intellectual agreement, but together in harmony.

Illustration:  A symphony orchestra playing together.  An orchestra make a unified sound because they are a group of individuals working together in harmony to sound together.  When the body of Christ prays together it needs to be in complete harmony like a great orchestra.


2.      There is power in prayer when the Lord is 'more present'.  Matt 18:20, 'For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.'

·        The presence of Christ is there when two or three are gathered together in perfect harmony in His name.  We should take time to be aware of His presence. 


·        Being gathered together means being together in unity of the Spirit and in one accord.  It is not just being in a particular place.  Acts 2:1 'And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.'  On the day of Pentecost the believers were in one accord.  They were in perfect harmony with one another.


3.      There is power in united prayer when the body of Christ prays as one. 

·        This is seen in the prayers of the Early Church.  In the Upper Room: Acts1:14,  'These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.'  After Peter and John were arrested for healing the lame man: Acts 4:31  'And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.'


·        The glory of the Lord will be seen in the church when the body of Christ prays in the unity of the Holy Spirit.  John 17: 20-22  'Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that you have sent me.  And the glory which you gave me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one.’ 


4.      There is power in prayer when the body prays for one another in obedience to the scripture.

·        In sickness - calling for the elders of the church to pray, James 5:13-14.  Effectual prayer is prayer in the Holy Spirit.


·        In evangelism - working together through prayer.  Romans 15:30 ‘strive together with me in your prayers to God for me’.  2 Corinthians 1:10-11  ‘helping together by prayer for us’. Philippians 1:19  ‘through your prayers’.  Colossians 4:3  ‘praying for us’.   2 Thessalonians 3:1-2  ‘pray for us’.


·        In watching for each others spiritual well being - Ephesians 6:18  Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;'



There is power in united prayer when

1.      Two or more pray in harmony

2.      There is an awareness of the presence of Christ.

3.      Believers pray in the unity of the body.

4.      The body of Christ prays for one another.



Andrew Murray,

Extract from With Christ in the School of Prayer