Prayer is such a misunderstood thing. One of the great books on the subject was written by John R. Rice and is titled ‘Prayer: Asking and Receiving’. If someone wrote a book on developing better father/son relationships and titled it ‘Building Rapport with Your Parents: Asking and Receiving’, we’d snicker and pass that book up. Is prayer only about telling God what I want so He can let me receive it? How selfish!
Prayer is communication with God on a personal level. Its how we develop intimacy with the Creator. How I talk to God is as important as the content. If I demand things of Him, as if I have a right to things He is withholding, that speaks volumes to Him about who we are trusting in. If I fearfully approach God, as if I’m actually a loser and I need His help or I’ll die, we betray our lack of confidence in who we are in Christ.
So, how should we pray? If prayer is intimacy with God, then shouldn’t we do our praying alone? Yet, we know that Jesus taught us: “Again I say unto you that if two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them by my Father, who is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them” (Matthew 18:19&20). This implies that its better to pray in groups like the early church did when Peter was miracuously delivered (Acts 12) or when Paul was raised from the dead (Acts 14:19&20).
By the way, Anita and I meet in the Unity Hall every Saturday night from 5:00-5:45 for corporate prayer and we’d love to have you join us.
So, when someone recently asked me what was the difference between personal prayer and corporate prayer, the answer was easy. We do personal prayer to build personal intimacy between us and our Father. But we enter into corporate prayer because that’s how great spiritual battles are won: in agreement with others. No wonder Satan doesn’t want us to pray together!