Sunday morning is a prayer meeting • “Seek God” together • Seeking God means that He’s what we’re after • The greatest gift God could give is intimate eternal loving fellowship with himself • God’s greatest gift could only be God
How did Jesus normally minister? Face to face With physical touch With audible prayer to the Father in the person’s hearing
1 Corinthians 14:14-17 When we gather, we ought to try to build encourage and strengthen others It ain’t a “Just me and Jesus and forget everybody else” time
Prayers offered to God in the presence of other people… • Ought to be offered to God • They aren’t sermons! • Ought to consider those present • Our aim should be to bring those present along to the throne of grace.
Biblical corporate prayer is spiritually beneficial to anyone who happens to hear it. • Long-haired ATS guy • Paul says the outsider ought to be able to give the “Amen.” • We could stand to be more audibly participatory here at Cannon. It’s biblical .
A beautiful thing: people who are quick to pray with each other. • Little pockets of impromptu prayer • After Sunday service • At work • Over coffee in a restaurant • Instead of “I’ll be praying for you,” lets try “Let me pray a real quick prayer for you right now.”
Quick Tips Be brief Less talky, more pray-ey
Praying with others can be risky Nobody wants to appear fanatical or self-righteous The point: It’ll cost us something to pray with others, but it’ll build them up. You’ll feel weaker but they’ll feel stronger.
Praying together strengthens relationships • It’s hard to pray with people whom you are in unresolved conflict. • Jesus tell us to be reconciled with our brother before coming to the altar (Matt 5:23-26). The same principle applies to the throne of grace. • It’s hard to pray with our spouse when there’s unresolved conflict • 1 Peter 3:7 7Likewise,husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weakervessel, since they are heirs with youof the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.
From my personal experience I’m less inclined to pray with others when I haven’t been as much in private prayer I’m far more inclined to pray with others when I’ve been much in private prayer
A Scriptural “Given” The authors of Scripture seem to take for granted that Christians will be constantly praying for and with each other. They weave prayers and prayer requests into their letters. Shared prayer, shared conversation, shared meals. Totally normal.
Examples Romans 15:30-33 - 30I urge you, brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me. 31Pray that I may be rescued from the unbelievers in Judea and that my service in Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints there, 32so that by God's will I may come to you with joy and together with you be refreshed. 33The God of peace be with you all. Amen. Eph 6:18-20 - 18And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints. 19Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.
Examples Col 4:2-4 - 2Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. 3And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. 4Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. 1 Thess 5:25 - 25Brothers, pray for us. 2 Thess 3:1-5 - 1Finally, brothers, pray for us that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honored, just as it was with you. 2And pray that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men, for not everyone has faith. 3But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen and protect you from the evil one. 4We have confidence in the Lord that you are doing and will continue to do the things we command. 5May the Lord direct your hearts into God's love and Christ's perseverance.
Examples Heb 13:18-19 - 18Pray for us. We are sure that we have a clear conscience and desire to live honorably in every way. 19I particularly urge you to pray so that I may be restored to you soon. James 5:13-18 - 13Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. 14Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. 16Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. 17Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. 18Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.
Corporate Prayer Teaches How to pray About God About life Most of what we learn through prayer is caught rather than taught. Dad’s praying Praying with my sons
Prayer is a war-time walkie-talkie, not a domestic intercom to call the butler. What do boring prayers and bored prayers say about God?
God acts in response to prayer • Is 64:4 4Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him.
Conclusion Gospel, not Legalism You and I this side of heaven will never be perfect pray-ers, but there is One who intercedes for us at this very moment, and He has graciously promised to give the Holy Spirit if we but ask…