EXPONENTIAL aka Corporate PRAYER (pt 1)

Raymond McHenry, in The Best of In Other Words, tells about a county fair that held a horse-pulling contest in which the winner pulled a sled weighing 4,500 pounds. The second place finisher pulled 4,000 pounds. The owners of the two horses decided to see what their horses could pull together. They hitched them up and discovered the team could move 12,000 pounds. Separately they were good for only 8,500 pounds. Together, they pulled an additional 3,500 pounds.

That’s a principle not easily received in our self-centered, individualist society, one in which competition often usurps cooperation. This mindset has infected the church—even when it comes to prayer. What a tragedy, considering the potential force of a group of burdened believers bound together in intercession.

Jesus addressed this spiritual reality by saying, “If two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them” (Matthew 18:19,20).

The word in the original language for “agree” transliterates into our English word symphony. A group of saints combining hearts in prayer around a common cause is like an orchestra playing beautiful music- a variety of instruments joining together in one voice, as participants follow the lead of Christ the conductor.

I’ll never forget witnessing such an experience while on a mission trip to India. At the end of a pastor training session, I called for anyone who wanted to come to the altar for a closing prayer. I’d never seen anything like it. A hundred people must have responded. It was surreal –like the whining of a motor or a singers blending in perfect harmony.

“But can’t that happen when we pray alone? Jesus is there too, isn’t He?” one might ask. Of course. Yet, there’s a different dynamic at work when praying together. As the old adage goes, teamwork divides the effort and multiplies the effect.

exponential-prayerGeese flying in V formation clearly demonstrate this principle. Scientists determined they can travel 70 per cent further as a group versus flying alone. Likewise, gathering with others in corporate intercession opens the gates of heaven for unsearchable things to pour forth exponentially.

 

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