Exponential- aka Corporate Prayer (pt 3)

exponential-prayer-pt-3

Obviously, praying alone is great. But not take it a step further by becoming a part of group prayer?

Praying together promotes accountability, especially in smaller groups. Take for example, geese. I’ve been aware for years that they fly in V formation to conserve energy and cover greater distances. I just discovered, however, flying in that formation provides them an easy way to keep track of every bird in the flock. Also, if a goose gets grounded by sickness or injury, two other geese fall out of formation to aid and protect it. They stay with him until he is either able to fly or until he is dead, and then they launch out with another formation to catch up with their group.

As wounded warriors and sojourning pilgrims in the body of Christ, can we not learn a thing or two from our fine feathered friends? Prayer groups provide the ideal opportunity for us to account for and help restore our brothers and sisters in Christ.

When asked by God the whereabouts of Abel, Cain replied, “Am I my brother’s keeper?”(Genesis 4:9). Paul writes, “Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. . . .Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you fulfill the law of Christ” (Romans 12:15, Galatians 6:2). Like it or not, we are our brother’s keeper. No man is an island unto himself. We truly need each other.   

Note, too, that group prayer builds buoyancy, a word that means “resilient and vivacious.” A buoyant believer would be one brimming with faith and confidence, a characteristic that spills out and uplifts others during group intercession.

A great illustration of this took place during the Exodus experience. As Joshua and his army fought the Amalekites, Moses stood atop a nearby hill with arms lifted in prayer. When his arms grew tired, Aaron and Hur held them up “-so that his hands remained steady till sunset” (Exodus 17:12). The teamwork paid off, as the Israelites won the battle.

I meet with a group of pastors on the first Monday of every month for lunch and prayer. Since Mondays can be tough on ministers, there are times when those sessions start very subdued. Yet after a time of warm fellowship and intense intercession, we leave encouraged and renewed. I’ve gone into some Wednesday night prayer meetings, almost dreading them; yet left enriched. Why? God designed us to be built up when we band together in Christ, especially as we pray.

Finally, corporate prayer is exponential in nature. For example:
2 + 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 = 14, whereas
2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 = 128.

Kingdom math operates in much the same way. Praying alone, I only exercise my individual faith. Yet, when I pray with others, the power of our combined faith increases exponentially. God gave an example of this principle in a promise to the children of Israel in the days of Moses. “Five of you will chase a hundred, and a hundred will chase ten thousand, and your enemies will fall by the sword before you” (Leviticus 26:8). As  Wesley Duewel writes in Mighty Prevailing Prayer,  “As you pray together, the prayer of each helps deepen the hunger for God’s answer and helps fan into flame the spirit of prayer.”

Although I’m not a huge camper, I do know that you can’t build a very good fire with only one log. You need several of them. The same principle applies in prayer. Join in with others of like mind, feel the warmth and watch the flame ignite.

 

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