“The effectual fervant prayer of a righteous man availeth much,” So James says in James 5:16. I was reminded of that reality this morning as I once more had the privilege to gather with some other pastors. After the standard coffee and doughnut coupled with a profitable conversation we gather for a time of prayer. We pray for each other, we pray for the flocks over which the Lord has given us oversight, and we pray for our community.
This was one of those mornings when the Lord powerfully used the prayers of others in my life. They were not praying for any special need of mine, but were simply pouring out their hearts to the Lord. There is this profound reality that corporate prayer unites our hearts in a unique way with each other and with the Lord. Sometimes when we pray by ourselves we feel very much alone even though we recognize the presence of the Lord. Praying with others heightens that awareness of His presence (He truly does inhabit the praises of His people). It is also a means by which God speaks to our hearts. God often touches my heart with some truth that He has laid on someone else’s heart which is then expressed in their prayer.
There are so many believers who have never experienced the joy of praying with others. There are a number of things that keep people from corporate prayer. Priority in time management, fear of looking or sounding foolish, not understanding it’s value, and complacency all take their toll in keeping people away from this wonderful, powerful opportunity to connect with God.
I recommend highly to others that you move out of you comfort zone, set aside your fears, clear lesser things off of your calender, and gather with others for prayer. We meet at Lockport Church on Wednesday nights at 7:00 for that purpose. Come join us or find another couple of believers to meet with and experience the joy of praying together. It will change you – it did me just this morning.