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September 19, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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When I was a child, I used to find praying in groups boring. In fact, I’d usually zone out and get caught up in a daydream until the pastor or group leader said, “Amen.” Why did I do this? Usually because it wasn’t about me, but mostly because I didn’t know how important corporate prayer was. I’m sure I’m not alone in that. So, let’s break a few things down when it comes to praying in groups and why it’s vital to our spiritual growth.
Corporate prayer is a phrase used to define the act of praying with others—in small or large groups of people. In Acts 2:42–44 (NIV), it says, “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common.” Here we see the importance of corporate prayer as it relates to the life of the Church. When we pray together as a Church, we are solidifying ourselves with a community of fellow believers. We go through a unification process by the Holy Spirit and create a unique bond with each other that can’t be found anywhere else. J.B. Johnston once said that “A congregation without a prayer meeting is essentially defective in its organization, and so must be limited in its efficiency.”
The act of prayer goes far beyond the personal benefits. Often as believers, we are quick to pray when we need something or to grow our relationship with God. However, John Onwuchekwa said it best when he claimed, “Prayer was never meant to be a merely personal exercise with personal benefits, but a discipline that reminds us how we’re personally responsible for others. This means that every time we pray, we should actively reject an individualistic mindset. We’re not just individuals in relationship with God, but we are part of a community of people who have the same access to God. Prayer is a collective exercise.”
So the next time you’re with a group of believers and practice corporate prayer, be mindful of the unification process happening right in front of you. Embrace the connection with your fellow believers and encourage others to do the same.
Come together with a group of believers! If you aren’t connected to a group of believers already, we’ve got you covered. There are a few ways you can increase your practice with corporate prayer. Our first recommendation is to join a group at Calvary! Joining a group will connect you to like-minded Christians in your community, so you’ll be able to build meaningful relationships as you pray for and with one another. As you gather together, you’ll be able to pray corporately the way God intended.
Kristen Hollis has served in the Communications Team of Calvary since 2020 as a Senior Copywriter and Editor. She contributes and edits content for Calvary’s digital and promotional initiatives. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English and Communications from Palm Beach Atlantic University. Kristen and her husband Zachary enjoy all things musical theatre, vinyl hunting, and having the opportunity to serve Calvary on staff while utilizing their talents.