Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Prayer With the Saints

The following message is from Min. David Pawson's series on prayer and addresses corporate prayer:
  • There is no such thing as private prayer for a Christian.  The very minimum in prayer for a Christian is four: Father, Son, Spirit, and yourself.
  • Once you become a Christian you cease to be an individual and you become a member of the Body of Christ. (Isn't that wonderful?!  People spend all of their lives trying not to be alone and in Christ we never have to be, even is no one else is physically with us.)
  • This is why Jesus said that when we enter into our prayer closet to pray to the Father in secret say, "OUR Father..."; "give US..."; "lead US"; and "deliver US". (Matthew 6:6-13)
  • All prayer is therefore corporate prayer, even when you are physically alone.  Yet, it is also important to pray together with other Christians.
  • There is a Biblical basis for praying together.  In the Gospels, Acts, the Epistles, and Revelation, there is more about praying with the saints than praying by yourself.  The promises in the Gospels are nearly all to people praying together.  The practice in Acts is nearly always praying to together.  The precepts in the Epistles are nearly always about praying together.  The predictions in Revelation are about people praying together.
  • The added advantages of praying together.
    • Being able to obtain the promises Jesus made about corporate prayer
    • It empowers the presence & work of the Holy Spirit for infilling believers and converting the lost.
    • It makes God's will more easily accessible & plain.
    • It provides security & support for members of the Body of Christ.
    • It turns prayer into a school for learning prayer.
    • It turns prayer into a fireplace.
    • It turns prayer into a powerhouse.
  • The practical problems of praying together.
    • Those who remain silent.  Everyone should be ready to pray when we come together to prayer.
    • Those who are inaudible.  Make sure that you speak so that others can hear and then share in your prayers.
    • An individual's lengthy prayer.  The deepest prayer is not based upon being long, but sincere.
    • Stereotyped prayers, those who pray the same thing all the time. 
    • People who pray in public as if they were alone, being preoccupied with ourselves and our own problems.
    • The issue of discontinuity.  The Lord flows in a prayer group and has a pattern which He fits together.  We should be sensitive to the Spirit about not only what to say, but when to say it.
  • The concentric circles of praying together. 
    • Two or three believers together, even just a husband and wife together.
    • Prayer meeting of perhaps 10-100 believers. 
    • Prayer during public services. 
  • God's blessing on corporate prayer is a reflection of His being a Father.  God doesn't want to just fill individuals with His Spirit, but His Body, His family.

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