Personal devotional time each day is important to growth in Christ. Yet the
gospel writer, Matthew, records Jesus as saying,
Again, I tell you that
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 I
am with them. Matt. 18:19,20.
Here Jesus shows us the value of prayer partners, two or more. Because God
works on the principle of multiplication rather than addition, the prayers of
two or three agreeing in prayer lock into power beyond our imagination.
It will be done by My Father, Jesus says. The upper room in
Jerusalem, where the followers of Jesus gathered to pray after Jesus returned to
heaven, is an example of this kind of praying. 120 of His followers joined in
praying for the promised gift of the Holy Spirit and Pentecost was the result.
A.J. Gordon, in his book, The Ministry of the Spirit, explains that the Greek word that is translated ‘agree’ in our English Bibles, is the same root word from which the word, ‘symphony’, also comes. Two or more prayers must be keyed to the same pitch as God's will in order for the promise of Matthew 18:19 to be fulfilled. These prayers of agreement, to the accompaniment of God's will, create a heavenly harmony. What a beautiful thought it is–to think of our united, agreeing prayers as being a part of the harmonies of heaven!
If the time is limited (as in a church service) one person may pray aloud while the others agree in their hearts. If hearts are truly humbled before God this creates a symphony of praise to Him. But a better way, if time permits and the style of service is less formal, is to allow anyone who feels the burden to pray have the opportunity.
This is an easy and comfortable way to spend time in prayer with two or more people. It is like friends sitting together in a living room conversing-only in prayer God is the focal Person there–the One we are speaking to. A designated person starts the prayer in a typical prayer pattern–salutation, praise and humbling of the heart before God–pausing so that others may join in. As in a conversation each person speaks when they have something to say-no one person dominating the conversation. Anyone may introduce new topics for prayer–people to pray for or special concerns. Laughter and tears are both welcome. The prayer time ends when either the time available is gone or all the prayer needs have been addressed. Usually the one who began the prayer time brings it to a close with words of thanksgiving and in the name of Jesus. You'll enjoy this kind of prayer!
This is often used in a small group–usually as they hold hands in a circle. One person begins the prayer; each person adds one sentence to the prayer. The last person to pray ends “In Jesus name, Amen.” This can also be used in a large group holding hands around the walls of a large room. Singing is often incorporated in this type of prayer.
The leader asks the large group to divide into groups of 3 or 4 to pray. If the time is limited this still allows everyone who wishes to, to pray. Because some people are unused to praying aloud and may hesitate to join a group, it is well for the leader to suggest that everyone join a group even if do not wish to pray aloud; when it is their turn to pray, they just say “Amen.” This way no one is excluded from the prayer and the large group remains united.
A favorite way for a group to pray for their city or community is to gather together and divide into groups of 3 or 4 persons each, and spread out into the different neighborhoods, quietly walking the streets, praying as they walk for the individual families, churches, schools, and businesses they pass. Both young and old find prayerwalking a great blessing.