Pastoral Perspectives

The Necessity of Corporate Prayer

Is corporate prayer necessary?  Why do we have church prayer meeting? Why is there a need for a prayer ministry & a prayer committee?  How different is corporate prayer from individual prayer?  What does the Bible say about corporate prayer?  Individual prayer is important.  So is corporate prayer.  A lifeless church is a prayerless church and a purposeless church.  How do you measure the prayer life of a church?  What does our Lord instruct us about prayers?  Are his instructions restricted only to individual prayer?  We are called to gather as God’s beloved people to pray, to pray in season & out of season just as we are instructed to preach in season and out of season.

What is corporate prayer?  Corporate prayer is united prayer poured out wholeheartedly before the throne of God and of His grace.  Basically, corporate prayer is resulted when there is consolidated, constructive and committed prayer being lifted up to God who is enthroned on high.

What is the impact of corporate prayer?  The impact of corporate prayer is tremendous and is life-transforming.  There are many biblical examples of corporate prayer.  I can think of Acts 12 when the people of God prayed at the house of Mary, the mother of John Mark, for the release of their leader, the Apostle Peter.  The result of their concerted effort of corporate prayer was tremendous.  The good and gracious God sent His angel and rescued the Apostle Peter from the hand of Herod.  It was beyond our imaginations.  With God all things are possible.  What is impossible with men is possible with God! Nothing escapes the notice of God and the hand of God.  God is able to do immeasurably more than all that we can ask or think or all that we can imagine. When we unite our hearts in prayers, God delights to hear our prayers and He hears and intervenes in His own miraculous way.  Praise the Lord!

I can cite another example in Acts 4 when upon the release of Peter and John, the believers prayed to God and something wonderful happened.  “And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.” Acts 4: 31 ESV.  Prayer releases the power of God.  When we pray, God intervenes, God intercepts and God influences.  What delights God most is when He sees His people gather together and prays and pleads before Him.  The result of corporate prayer is that the people of God are greatly encouraged and they are no longer fearful to speak for Him and for His Name’s sake.  In fact, they spoke the word of God boldly.

I can cite still another example in 2 Chronicles 6-7 where King Solomon blessed the people and uttered prayer of dedication for the people and for the temple.  In 2 Chronicles 7: 12 – 15, the Lord our God has instructed us the crucial needs of humbling ourselves before Him in prayers and of turning away from our wicked ways.  When we confess our sins before God and repent from our sins, our God will forgive our sins and hear our prayers and heal our lives.  We will no longer live for ourselves but for Him who delivers us out of darkness and death and out of sins and shame.  We will live a victorious life for the glory of God.  We, as beloved people of God, need to realise that our total dependency is on God, who enables and empowers us to do His work, to accomplish His will and to fulfil His purposes, rather than on ourselves.  By uniting our hearts in concerted corporate prayer, we demonstrate to our God our complete and total dependence on Him.  We recognise that without God we can do nothing and can accomplish nothing.

My encouragement to all of us is that the necessity of corporate prayer has to be propagated and promoted.  We cannot remain as we are but must move forward in our prayer life, especially in our corporate prayer life.  May the Lord our loving God help us in this area so much so that He will be much pleased with us when He sees us, His beloved people, gather often together in concerted corporate prayer, lifting our sincere cries and petitions to Him who hears us and answers us.  Amen.

Preacher George Ang

March 24, 2013