One of the notable benefits of corporate prayer is synergy. Synergy is a wonderful word which means whenever there is cooperation; the result of the efforts expended will be greater than the sum of what each could do separately. As many a surprised farmer has discovered, one horse can pull six tons of weight, but two horses harnessed together can pull not twelve, but thirty-two tons! The Old Testament equation is that one can chase a thousand, but two can put ten thousand to flight! The New Testament lifts the limits. If two agree on earth– all heaven is behind them! Scriptures are basically written to a corporate people and exemplify corporate prayer.
Let us, therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace that we may obtain… (Hebrews 4:16)…as we went to prayer… (Acts 16:16).
Peter and John went up together… (Acts 3:1)
Prayer was the catalyst for the successful spreading of the Gospel in the early Church. Luke mentions or alludes to prayer more than thirty times in the twenty-eight chapters of the Book of Acts. The disciples gathered for prayer in the upper room; they focused their prayers with purpose, and the Holy Ghost fell. They prayed on Strait Street and an apostle was born.
First of all…Prayer
They prayed from house to house and revival spread.
They prayed and the miraculous happened in the death chamber.
They prayed and cities were stirred.
They prayed and nations were moved.
They prayed and empires were shaken.
They prayed in the synagogue and truth was revealed.
They prayed beside the seashore and the Church was strengthened.
They prayed at the riverside and a continent was evangelized. They prayed in one accord continually, and it was said of them: These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also… (Acts 17:6)
Prayer was more than a spiritual activity; it was the breath of their existence. Prayer for the early Church was a way of life. They prayed and signs and wonders were wrought by the apostles. They prayed when trouble confronted them. They prayed when circumstances threatened.
First of all, Prayer…
They prayed for miracles.
They prayed against demonic interference.
They prayed down angelic intervention.
They prayed and they praised and the Lord added daily to the Church such as should be saved (Acts 2:47).
In the 1850’s great revival began with one man having noon-time prayer. It grew until prayer filled the streets at noon in New York. Then it spread across the nation and around the world. The great Azusa Street revival began in a prayer meeting–a real prayer meeting– patterned after the upper room prayer meeting where people continued with one accord in prayer and supplication for days, weeks, and months.
The potential of corporate prayer is as limitless as the power of prayer.
First of all, prayer… Paul not only said this, he practiced it (Acts 16). With a fresh vision, Paul was forbidden by the Spirit to continue in the comfortable and familiar territory of Asia. He was pushed onto the edge of a new frontier, the continent of Europe. Number one on his agenda was prayer. Number two on his agenda was a prayer meeting. On his way to the prayer meeting, he met a demonized girl. She was delivered. He was imprisoned. Number three on his agenda was a prayer and praise meeting that brought the house down! Suddenly at midnight, there was an earthquake. The foundations of the prison were shaken. Doors were opened. Bonds were loosed. There was a quick message. Salvation came and a new phase of world evangelization was initiated
First of all, Prayer… When prayer is number one, number two and number three on our agendas, new vision will be realized. Prayer will shake the foundations of the circumstances that imprison us. Doors of opportunity will open. Bonds that have hindered will be loosed. Captives will be set free. God will do a quick work! The greatest advancement of the Gospel in the history of the New Testament Church is at hand. Prayer is the answer! It is the foundation and the force of all spiritual enterprise.
There are many ways to conduct corporate prayer times: extended (as in all-night prayer meetings) or, short segments of a service. Be sure a prayer meeting has more prayer than anything else–more prayer than talking or preaching about prayer.
This article may not be written by an Apostolic author, but it contains many excellent principles and concepts that can be adapted to most churches. As the old saying goes, “Eat the meat. Throw away the bones.”