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Sunday, June 24, 2012

Lord, Teach Us To Pray! Part 102

Corporate Prayer continued...

So let’s break this passage down a little, and see what it has to teach us. The first aspect of this passage that jumps out at me is the word ‘agree.’

‘If two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven.’

We see not only the importance of unity within this passage, we also see the importance of agreement. When we come together in prayer and do so corporately, agreeing on that which we are praying for, great and wondrous things take place.

Jesus promised that if as few as two individuals agreed on earth concerning something they asked for, God, the Father in heaven would take note, and it will be done for them.

I realize that being a lone wolf is not only growing in popularity nowadays, it is even preferred by believers due to the lack of spiritual nourishment they receive in churches and congregations. The only problem with the lone wolf mentality is that we all need fellowship sooner or later; we all need to gather together, and be in the presence of likeminded brothers in Christ, and not doing so for an extended period of time opens us up to undue attacks by the enemy.

Even Jesus needed fellowship. Especially toward the latter end of His ministry, when He knew that the time was upon Him, He sought fellowship with His disciples and spent more time with them.

As we journey through the three years of Christ’s ministry, we see that in the beginning He was wont to go off by Himself and pray to the Father, spending entire nights in prayer and supplication. As His time drew near however, we begin to see Him spending more time in a corporate setting, surrounded by His disciples and being in fellowship with them.

Matthew 26:38, “Then He said to them, ‘My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me.’

Jesus asked His disciples to watch with Him. Even though He went a little farther, fell on His face, and prayed, Jesus asked His disciples to watch with Him, as He needed someone to be united with Him, to agree with Him in His prayers and supplications.

Isolation has its benefits. I prefer being alone, by myself, studying, reading, writing, praying, and spending time with God. Once in a while however, I feel the need to fellowship with others rising up in me, and if I ignore it for too long, it becomes almost overwhelming.

Wherever it is you find your fellowship, whether with your spouse, your children, family, friends, fellow brothers in Christ gathering in someone’s home or a church, do not forsake fellowship.

We all need somebody. However independent we might think ourselves to be, however autonomous and self-reliant, there will always be those occasions when we just need somebody to lean on, when we just need to know there are others agreeing with us in prayer, and that the family of God is standing with us.

Corporate prayer is united prayer. It is multiple individuals being as one in mind and heart as they petition God. Being in agreement or agreeing concerning something we ask, goes far beyond simply acknowledging we agree with our lips…it is being in agreement with our hearts. One united body comprised of different members, all desiring a singular thing.

The word of God has numerous examples as far as corporate prayer is concerned, and also how effective it truly is.

Israel was at war. This in itself was nothing new, for Israel had been on one campaign or another for long and long now. The soldiers had been honed, the skills had been mastered, the men of Israel had done all they could do to ensure that they had done all they could do.

No matter how much they prepared, no matter how hard they trained, no matter how many new tactics of war they incorporated into their battles, Israel knew that ultimately the battle would not be won by sword and steel, it would be won by the hand of the God of Israel.

Just because we know the victory belongs to the Lord, it does not nullify or annul our responsibilities, nor does it give us license to become slothful in our worship, and indifferent in regards to our spiritual preparedness.

Israel knew God would ultimately have to give them the victory – because even then they were outnumbered – but they still did their duty. They still learned to master the weapons of their warfare, they still learned how to take orders, they still took the field, and they still stood against their enemies.

This current battle was against Amalek. It was not a battle Israel chose, for Amalek came to fight against Israel in Rephidim.

You can’t always choose your battles. You can’t always choose where, when, how, or even why you must fight a battle…all you can do is be prepared for the eventuality thereof.

Some believe they can avoid battle all their life if only they keep their head down, don’t make any noise, and try to get along with everyone. The only problem with this mentality is that one cannot get along with everyone without making compromises, and once you start to compromise, the enemy will press his advantage until you’ve compromised to the point of enslaving yourself.

Rather than attempt to avoid battle in perpetuity, it is far wiser to prepare for it, knowing the inevitability of its nature.

Battle comes to us all sooner or later. Though we might not go looking for it, though we might attempt to avoid it, battle will find us, and when it does, I pray it finds us ready, having done all that was incumbent upon us to do in order to stand, trusting God to carry us further than any preparations we could have made ever could.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

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