Christian Prayer Breakfast Fort Worth Tarrant County

Prayer in community

Prayer in Community: The Importance of Praying Together

As an organization, The Fort Worth Christian Prayer Lunch is committed to coming together as a community to pray. Each year, people from across the greater Fort Worth area come together to lift our community and our leaders at every level of government – local, regional, and national – in prayer. In sharing a meal at our annual event, we follow the example of the first followers of Christ in Acts 2:42 who were devoted to Jesus’ teaching and came together to break bread and pray.

Examples of corporate prayer to follow

In Psalm 34:3 (NIV), David writes, “Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt his name together.” In this passage, David is alluding to what is known as corporate prayer, which simply means praying together as one. As noted, the early church in the Book of Acts models this for us. As the world continues to feel more and more divided, it’s good to remind ourselves how the first Christians “were together and had everything in common” (Acts 2:44 NIV), as they also encouraged one another in prayer. In Acts 4:31 (NIV), we read about what happened just after they prayed for strength to speak boldly as they were being persecuted.

“After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.”

Clearly, there is power in coming together in prayer. Throughout the book of Acts, we see different times when the first followers of Christ prayed together, and there were five common themes to their prayers that we can learn from. So, what did they pray for?

  1. For wisdom with difficult decisions.
  2. For boldness in their mission.
  3. For the leaders of the church.
  4. For suffering in the body.
  5. For godly comfort in sorrow.

This isn’t a comprehensive list of what they prayed for, but it does give us a place to start when praying together with family or in our church community. Consider this list in your own prayers and when you pray with others.

Opportunities to pray together

Now that we’ve outlined the importance of praying together, let’s think about opportunities we have to pray with others. There’s no limit to the times and places that we can pray together. Here’s a short list:

  • Before a meal with friends and/or family
  • At a holiday gathering
  • During church
  • At a bible study
  • In the hospital with a loved one who is ill
  • Or any meeting where followers of Jesus are present

Think of a time when you are with a group of believers. That’s a time you can join together in prayer. Jesus is with us always, but he cites explicitly that “where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them” (Matthew 18:20 NIV). There’s confidence in our prayers, in light of 1 John 5:14 (NIV).

“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.”

The impact of praying together

Praying together may not feel comfortable to you if you haven’t prayed out loud or even quietly with others before. So, if you’re feeling unsure about praying in a group, here are three reasons to pray with other followers of Christ.

1. Praying together brings unity and belonging

It’s easy to be divided and only be with people who think and act only as we do. The harder thing to do is to put aside differences and enter spaces with people who are different than ourselves. Among followers of Christ, age, ethnicity, language, background, and experiences can all create lines of division that can threaten to separate us if we aren’t intentional about breaking down and removing barriers. Praying together is a unifying experience, bringing us together in a common trust and faith in Jesus.

2. Praying together is an encouragement

You never know what kind of trials or issues someone may be facing in their life. Prayer focuses our hearts on God, encouraging us to persevere through life’s struggles. Use Hebrews 10:25 (NIV) as a reminder to “not [give] up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but [encourage] one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” As we look toward the day of Jesus’ return, don’t stop coming together and encouraging one another in prayer.

3. Praying together helps strengthen faith and build up believers

Consider your journey with Christ, how did you come to place your faith in Christ and mature in your faith? You likely had people around you who modeled what it means to be a follower of Christ. Praying together provides an opportunity to strengthen the faith of others, build others up, and point people to Jesus. Each of us has a part to play in the body of Christ. Each of us has our own voice in prayer. And each of us can help shape the people around us as we pray. Consider the imagery of Proverbs 27:17 (NIV), “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” Jesus is “the founder and perfecter of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2a NIV), and he uses us to point others to him, as Matthew 5:16 (NIV) says:

“In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”

Think about the times and opportunities that you have to pray with other people. As we’ve laid out here, there is power in praying together. Even if the ground doesn’t shake like it did in Acts 4, we can be confident that Jesus is with us and he hears us. It will orient your heart to God. It will open your heart to the needs of others. And it will help shape your faith and the faith of those around you. There’s only one thing left to do. Pray.

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