Tag: prayer

  • Praying Together

    Praying together is a great privilege that each of God’s children is invited to enjoy. Far too often I have neglected the privilege of praying together with my brothers and sisters in Christ and reaped the unfortunate consequences. Because of this I am glad when I come across reminders of the benefits of praying together like the writing of David Mathis in his excellent book, Habits of Grace. The headings below are his words, with my comments underneath.

    Praying together
    There is power found in praying together.

    Nine Profits of Praying with Company

    1. For Added Power – In Matthew 18:19 we learn that anything we ask for in prayer is easier to receive when we come into agreement together.
    2. For Multiplied Joy – Personal prayer is a joy God offers us. This joy, like so many others, is multiplied when it is shared with others.
    3. For Greater Glory to God – As Mathis writes, “Our multiplied joy in God then makes for multiplied glory to God. … Praying together not only adds power to the request, but also means more glory for the giver when he answers.”
    4. For Fruitful Ministry and Mission – According to the example of the apostle Paul, our service of our Saviour will be more effective when we join together in prayer. Consider how many times Paul invited churches to join him in prayer for the effectiveness of his work – Romans 15:30-32; 2 Corinthians 1:11; Ephesians 6:18-20; Colossians 4:3-4; Colossians 4:3-4; 2 Thessalonians 3:1.
    5. For Unity Among Believers – Unity among the family of believers is both a cause and an effect of praying together.
    6. For Answers We Wouldn’t Otherwise Get – We are dependent by design. God created us to need him and one another. James 5:14-16 shows us that there are certain prayers that will only be answered when we pray together.
    7. To Learn and Grow in our Prayers – One of the best ways to learn how to pray is by joining in with others who know how to pray.
    8. To Know Each Other – To pray effectively we have to stop pretending and really be ourselves. Because of this, we get to know the people we pray with on a more profound level than others.
    9. To Know Jesus More – The greatest benefit of praying together is that it will help us to know Jesus better. “By praying with friends, you will be able to hear and see facets of Jesus you have not yet perceived.” – Tim Keller

    In light of all of this, praying together with others is a practice I intend to prioritize in the coming seasons.

  • Four Benefits of The Cross

    Effective prayer begins at the cross. The cross separates the believer from sin and connects him to God. Through prayer this truth becomes a personal reality instead of merely an intellectual novelty. All Christian’s acknowledge the theological importance of Jesus’ cross. How does the cross impact my prayer habits on a practical level? Let’s look at a Scripture verse from the Old Testament book of Isaiah.

    But he was pierced for our transgressions;

    he was crushed for our iniquities;

    upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,

    and with his wounds we are healed. (Isaiah 53:5, ESV)

    There are four specific benefits of the cross seen in this verse. Below is a simple outline of their significance and how I use them to begin most of my times of prayer.

    1. I thank God for the whip that provides me healing for my body. The wounds by which we are healed were laid on our Savior’s back by a whip. This verse is quoted in the New Testament in 1 Peter 2:24.
    2. I thank God for the crown of thorns that provides me peace for my mind. When I read of the chastisement (punishment) that brings peace I think of the crown of thorns that my King chose to wear. 2 Timothy 1:7 tells us that we have not been given a spirit of fear, but instead a spirit of power, love and a sound mind.
    3. I thank God for the spear that provides atonement for my iniquities. A spear crushed the Master’s side, literally breaking His heart, so that I could receive a new heart. My new heart hates sin and loves righteousness.
    4. I thank God for the nails that provide forgiveness for my transgressions. Our Lord’s hands and feet were pierced so that I can receive forgiveness for all my transgressions. It is amazing that His crimson blood can cause filthy me to become whiter than snow!

    I start most of my prayer times by going through this list and thanking God out loud for these four benefits of the cross. This helps me to approach God with humility and gratitude.

    What do you think? What do you do to begin your times of prayer?