Originally posted in July 2011. Author: Tony Cash
There are many good books on prayer, this article does not set out to address the topic of prayer itself, rather to describe the importance of group prayer and prayer networks. Prayer first and foremost is conversation; therefore two or more people are always involved. Conversation should be two way, else the speaker may be talking to himself if at least an acknowledgment is not received. Even when we pray alone as Jesus did, Father, Holy Spirit and often angels are involved in the conversation. In fact as born again believers we are never alone. Jesus promised that we His followers would never be left alone John 14:18, His Spirit would always be with us, even to the very end of the age Matt 28:20. These promises of God can not be broken; so be encouraged by it when things seem to be all against you.
Prayer is all about relationship; it is more than cold communications. Prayer can be considered to be the life blood of our relationship with Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Furthermore God has a wonderful vision of all His believers being and acting as parts of a single body, the body of Christ. This vision was given to Paul, he describes it in his letter to the Colossians Col 1:18, Christ is the head of the body and we are the members. In his letter to the Ephesians Paul sees the Jews and the Gentiles united in Him (Christ) as one new man Eph 2:11-3:12. This vision pictures us as interdependent upon each other and all dependent upon Christ our head. If this is a metaphor for the spiritual unity we are intended to enjoy, then our prayer life must include group prayer. Group prayer can have a dynamic that can change nations. In Acts chapter 2 we see that the disciples were all together in one place when they received the baptism in the Holy Spirit; but later in Acts 4:32, 33 we see that the believers were one in heart and mind, and great power was on them. The prayer of agreement avails much. Hebrews encourages us not to stop assembling together. In the book of Acts we read that the believers met together, they devoted themselves to the apostles teaching, to fellowship, breaking of bread and to prayer. In Acts 12 we read about the fifth persecution of Peter when he was released by an angel from chains in prison with a guard set over him. He quickly went to the house of Mary where the brethren were gathered to prayer for him. Group prayer can bring about release from prison and indeed any other persecution. When we are together to pray it seems to increase our boldness in prayer. Next when we are together to pray the LORD seems to speak to the whole group through several people. He is often quite economical with both His words and His actions. We are all encouraged to prophesy and to seek the gift of prophecy; however when we are together, those who have a developed prophetic gift can encourage others. I say this because we always need to hear from the LORD. The call to be an intercessor will always include a measure of the prophetic gift. It is important that intercessors join a prayer group where this gift is encouraged and developed.