By Clifton Jones
WHAT ABOUT UNITED PRAYER?
There comes a time in your praying that you need to join forces with another believer in order to get the kind of results you are seeking. It is scripturally sound for you to call in someone to agree with you in prayer about anything. I recall on occasions asking someone to agree with me that a certain person would except God’s plan of salvation. You are not teaming up on the Lord, you are just standing together on what you are believing for.
Jesus said Matthew 18:19, “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.” I think we often overlook the power that is produced by unity. The testimony of the Lord in Genesis I 1, should refresh our minds on the power of a united people.
Genesis 11:6 “And the LORD said, Behold, the people [is] one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.”
I know that if wicked people, united could accomplish what they set out to do, surely those agreeing in prayer should be unstoppable. This is another reason we cannot allow anything to come between us. Bad
relationships will short circuit our effectiveness in prayer. We must agree. This is another reason I rule our unspoken request, I cannot agree on what I do not know. Someone comes to you with a un-spoken
request, if you are going to believe God with that person you must know, what they are believing for.
Philippians 4:6 “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”
Someone no doubt will reason, that this text says, “…Make your request known to God.” Yes, but Jesus also said, “if two of you shall agree on earth.” In order to agree anywhere, we must know what we are agreeing on. You might be asking God to kill brother egg, so that you can have his wife, while someone else is asking for a financial blessing. That is called divided interest, but when we agree together, that is called united prayer.
Usually, when we invite someone to join us in the prayer of agreement, it is either a very serious matter or a private matter. If you were praying about a home matter, either yours or some other home, you might
find it better to seek the aid of a small segment, rather than ask the whole congregation. If you are in a church where there are weak leaders trying to move the work of God forward, you wouldn’t want to take this before the whole body. When whole congregations pray over a matter, this is real potential.
I tell the saints sometimes when praying over request, to pray as you would have us pray if it was you. When we pray like that we are bound to get an answer. I think request ought to be flowing into our
congregation on a continued basis. We are the house of prayer, and the place where prayers are known to be going up. If this is not the case, we need somebody to agree in prayer for us that we will repent of our
prayer-less condition, and return to our place of power.
When you agree with someone, this does not mean you spend hours and days in prayer. It means that you put your faith to work. You supported each others faith while you rest upon God’s word. On generally known needs, the whole congregation should be able to pray together. The need for real revival, the spiritual condition of the world, etc.
SATAN IS DOING AL HE CAN TO SHUT DOWN EVERY PRAYER MEETING HE CAN, AND MANY OF US ARE HELPING HIM BY NOT ATTENDING.
The church of Jesus Christ is no stranger to joining together in prayer.
Luke 1:10 “And the whole multitude of the people were praying without at the time of incense.”
Acts 1:14 “These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.”
Acts 4:24 “And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord, thou [art] God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is.”
Acts 12:12 “And when he had considered [die thing], he came to the house of Mary the mother of John, whose surname was Mark; where many were gathered together praying.”
Acts 21:5 “And when we had accomplished those days, we departed and went our way; and they all brought us on our way, with wives and children, till [we were] out of the city: and we kneeled down on the shore, and prayed.”
Will you please agree with me that it’s praying time for an of God’s children, big shots, little shots, and those who can’t even shoot. Let us pray for change in our leadership, pray that God will give us
someone who will lead us into revival. Agree with me that this will take place in the very near future, or I am afraid it will be too late.
WHAT ABOUT THE PRAYER BAND?
I am so glad you ask that question, because our concept of the prayer band seem to be quite different from that of the Bible and Church history. First of all what is a band used for? is it not to hold things together? The band on my watch holds my watch on my arm, nevertheless, this same band would be too small to hold the watch around an elephant’s thigh. Notwithstanding, you can purchase a band that would fit around even an elephant’s thigh. You know it would have to be a much larger band. My point is the bigger the need is, the larger the band has to be. A ladies girdle is a band, it is used to keep things from shaking out of control.
Now you ask me about the prayer band. As out of control as things are now we need a very large band. Not just five or six sisters and a retired brother who splits his time between fishing and the prayer meeting. Everybody need to join in and be a part of the band.
THE PASTOR SHOULD BE THE LEADER OF THE BAND.
Yes, I said the pastor should be the leader of the band. I know we excuse the ministry from the prayer band, this is one of the greatest mistakes we can make. No man should be so busy working for God that he/she doesn’t have time to talk with Him. I know someone will reason that you don’t have to be at the prayer meeting to be praying. True, but if you won’t pray at the house of prayer, chances are you are not praying at your house either.
Prayer bands that are led by others usually go according to their visions; and some people have short sighted visions. This is the main reason many prayer bands are disbanded from our churches. We often
elevate people over this most important unit, and hail them before the congregation as the leader of the prayer band. Many times these people are getting more glory than they are praying. Brother/Sister Pastor,
if you want a long range prayer band, lead it yourself. Teach prayer, practice prayer, talk prayer, sleep prayer, read about prayer and you will end up praying. We cannot afford to put this sacred operation in
the hands of just a few, when the need is so great. To make a bigger difference in our congregations, we need to enlarge our prayer band.
MOST PLACES THE PRAYER MEETING, WHICH IS THE MOST POWERFUL OPERATION ON EARTH, IS ALSO THE LEAST POPULAR, AND LESS VISITED MEETING IN THE CHURCH.
You can get more people to a funeral than you can a prayer meeting. They will come and eat saltine crackers with cheese or tuna, faster than they will a prayer meeting. You can get people to practice on a
song for two hours and won’t pray twenty minutes. Do you suppose we have taken Jeremiah 9:17-18 out of context, and think only the women should pray. Surely in this enlighten age we all know that praying is
for all, and should be done by all; on the other hand, it was the Lord who told Jeremiah to call for the mourning women. It appears from the text that the men had gotten into serious trouble and couldn’t help, so he was to call for those who could help. We might speculate all we want about this text, or about why it seems easier to get the women to attend the prayer meetings than it is to get the men out. Maybe the
men are busier than the ladies; doubtless, just maybe the men are in more serious trouble than the ladies, or maybe the men won’t cry over the situation like the ladies (that is to be thought about). Anyway,
Jeremiah was told to call for the mourning women.
Jeremiah 9:17,18 “Thus saith the LORD of hosts, Consider ye, and call for the mourning women, that they may come; and send for cunning [women], that they may come: And let them make haste, and take up a
wailing for us, that our eyes may run down with tears, and our eyelids gush out with waters.”
Before I leave the prayer band concept, let me mention some of the occasions our congregation enjoy together, On one occasion, we have gathering for what we call ‘late night with Jesus.’ This meeting starts
about midnight and continue until early morning. On another occasions, we get at least seven to agree for one or more hours of prayer for a twenty four hour period beginning midnight Friday and concluding
midnight Saturday. This kind of banding together will most definitely put fire in your heart and anointing in the visible congregation. I am trying every method of praying the Lord allows to come my way. If you
have one that is working, please let me in on it. Because I really believe what Jesus said in Luke 18:1. If we don’t pray, we are going to faint; that is, loose heart, fail or give up. Beloved don’t give up on your prayer band, just make it larger and get the pastor to lead the way.
WHAT ABOUT PRIVATE PRAYER?
Your frequent visits to the prayer meetings have opened you up to the point where you can talk with your father anywhere and at all times. Nevertheless, your private time with Him is very precious. This gives
you time to allow Him to reveal to you some very private information about Himself and about you. I say it this way thinking you might want to thank God aloud for what He shares with you of a private nature.
Another dimension of private prayer is that you will not be interrupted by sound or motion of others, providing you enter into your secret closet literally; that is, find you a place where you can be alone with
Him. Unlike the public prayer meeting, the private time allows you to do some deep meditation without distractions. You can soak Him into your mind, your spirit, even your body can be influenced by Him.
As I mention these various methods of prayer, I am not suggesting anyone to substitute one for the other, but that each will fit in its own category. If we would learn, to us, every method we find will work. We will outgrow praying just one hour, and not let one hour pass without us praying; and this I feel, should be our goal.
Don’t let selfishness make you think that praying alone is the only way to go, because we need each other. Your presence at the prayer meeting might be what someone else needs to stay encouraged. If you are
experiencing somewhat of a difficult time, but won’t stop praying, it will give inspiration to someone else. You are prone to pray silently when you are alone, this comes easy and natural because you have less
interference. But when you are in the public prayer meeting, it is a good habit to utter words that are audible, for this will help you combat your interference’s.
I was asked once, “How can you concentrate when someone is screaming and hollering?” Well, let us not confuse the public meeting with your private meeting. In a public meeting waves of anointing sweeps over
the band, and some of us are subject to call out, scream, holler, speak with tongues, or something emotional. This is understandable, I only get worried when it get too quiet. Someone said, “God is not hard of hearing.” No, and neither is he nervous. Really, there are only two ways to pray, by yourself or with somebody; and I think we should employ both ways.
There are different ways to view private and public praying. Private prayer is somewhat like singles in tennis, if you lose you can only blame yourself, where as in doubles you might want to blame your partner. In private prayer if you don’t get your request you need only look at your own position in Christ. Public prayer is like school, you are learning from both the Holy Spirit and others. Jesus left record examples of both public and private prayer.
JESUS’ PRIVATE PRAYERS:
“And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.”
“And when he had sent them away, he departed into a mountain to pray. And when even was come, the ship was in the midst of the sea, and he alone on the land.”
“But so much the more went there a fame abroad of him: and great multitudes came together to hear, and to be healed by him of their infirmities. And he withdrew himself into the wilderness, and prayed.”
“And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.”
“And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.”
JESUS’ PUBLIC PRAYERS:
“At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, 0 Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.”
“Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened.”
“Then they took away the stone [from the place] where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up [his] eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me.”
“These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee.”
So don’t limit your praying to private, nor to public; involve yourself in both. Don’t ever think you have reached your full potential in prayer, or else you will begin to decline in your pursuit. Neither do you need to try and impress others of how prayerful you are, it will show one way or another.
Matthew 6:6 “But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.”
YOUR FAITHFULNESS TO THE LORD IN PRAYER WILL DIRECT YOU IN THE RIGHT PATH OF LIFE. OF A TRUTH THIS IS A PATH THAT TOO FEW EVER FIND, AND TOO MANY NEVER SEEK FOR.
May these sad words never sign your choice. May it be said of you; he/she found the secret that made a world of a difference in the world they live in. If you never receive the recognition you feel you deserve in this life, don’t worry, just pray. Your father who seeth in secret, will greatly reward you in this life and the life to come. No greater word could be heard, than to hear the Lord say unto you, “Well done.”
Matthew 25:21 “His lord said unto him, Well done, [thou] good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.”
THE ABOVE MATERIAL WAS TAKEN FROM PRAYER CLINIC II, 1990, PAGES 103-115. THIS MATERIAL IS COPYRIGHTED AND MAY BE USED FOR STUDY & RESEARCH PURPOSES ONLY.