The Value of Corporate Prayer

On the day of Pentecost, seven weeks after Jesus’ resurrection,

the believers were meeting together in one place. (Acts 2:1) NLT

 

Why call a group of people to come together and pray? Didn’t Jesus set an example for us by praying alone? Couldn’t we pray individually at home and get the same results? We certainly need to have a secret place for prayer, but praying alone is not enough. Jesus spoke of the value of corporate prayer when He said, “If two of you agree down here on earth concerning anything you ask, my Father in heaven will do it for you. For where two or three gather together because they are mine, I am there among them“. (Matthew 18:19-20) NLT

The word corporate means to act or work with others, to associate with others for mutual benefit. Let’s look at how corporate prayer caused a congregation to make one of the largest impacts on not just a city, but on the world. We read about this church located in Jerusalem in the Book of Acts, and the scriptures reveal five values of corporate prayer that are still relevant today.

1. Corporate prayer releases power on everyone.

And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in languages they didn’t know… (Acts 2:4) TLB

We normally talk about the explosion of tongues and miss the “detonator.” The detonator was prayer! Corporate prayer ignites the dynamite of the gospel and powerfully shakes everyone it comes in contact with. If one man’s prayer avails much, what happens when two, ten, fifty or a hundred people pray together?

2. Corporate prayer develops unity.

And all the believers met together constantly and shared everything they had. (Acts 2:44) NLT

Unity comes from purpose; purpose comes from praying to God who gives a purpose for our lives and for the church. We can hope for it, wish for it, but none of our efforts will bring about unity in the church unless we pray. Unity is like an orchestra: many instruments combine to make beautiful music.

3. Corporate prayer gives favor in the community.

And day by day…praising God and having favor with all the people. (Acts 2:46-47) ESV

When people join together to pray for their community and world, God opens doors of opportunity for the church to influence its culture. I am convinced the doors in our communities will be opened as we pray. The favor we currently have, and will need in the future, will only be sustained by corporate prayer.

4. Corporate prayer breaks down barriers of the non-Christian.

…and the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved. (Acts 2: 47) ESV

Prayer removes the blinders in the hearts of people. God opens their ears to hear and receive what He gives us to say. It is a supernatural work of the Holy Spirit and can only happen as we pray.

5. Corporate prayer opens the door for miracles.

So Peter was kept in prison, but earnest prayer for him was made to God by the church. (Acts 12:5) ESV

Let me share with you the rest of the story in Acts 12:6-11,

Now when Herod was about to bring him out, on that very night, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries before the door were guarding the prison. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood next to him, and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him, saying, “Get up quickly.” And the chains fell off his hands. And the angel said to him, “Dress yourself and put on your sandals.” And he did so. And he said to him, “Wrap your cloak around you and follow me.” And he went out and followed him. He did not know that what was being done by the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision. When they had passed the first and the second guard, they came to the iron gate leading into the city. It opened for them of its own accord, and they went out and went along one street, and immediately the angel left him. When Peter came to himself, he said, “Now I am sure that the Lord has sent his angel and rescued me…”.

Jesus said, if two of you agree down here on earth concerning anything you ask, my Father in heaven will do it for you. Are we seeing miracles? Yes! Do we need more miracles? Yes! Then we must turn up the thermostat of prayer by coming together more often to pray earnestly!  Corporate prayer releases God’s power on everyone, develops unity, gives favor in the community, breaks down the barriers of the non-Christian, and opens the door for miracles.