Friday, March 9, 2012

Praying Together

"When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place" (Acts 2:1).

He was 17 years old and was at a youth service at our church for the very first time. He was apprehensive about coming, but gave into the sense that this was where he was supposed to be. The evening had begun and I had gone to lead the adult service that was taking place in another part of our building. After I had completed speaking, I journeyed back into the area where the youth service was in full swing. The youth pastor was challenging the teenagers to go beyond where they had yet come in their relationship with God. I stood there praying, believing God was doing something incredible in the hearts and lives of these young men and women.

As the youth pastor called the students to respond, challenging them to get up and come down front to pray, this 17 year old who stayed with reluctance got up and approached me where I was standing. "Will you go and pray with me?" "Of course" was my reply. I followed him to an area down front that was already filling up with other teenagers who were on their faces before a God that loves them more than words can express. We knelt, and together, we prayed. During that prayer, this reluctant student eagerly prayed with me a prayer of surrender to Jesus Christ. Yes, he could have prayed by himself. Yes, God would have answered. Yet, his life was powerfully changed in one evening because of praying together. He was not alone. He was convinced.

Before the disciples of Jesus experienced the power of the Holy Spirit, they engaged both intently and intensely in the purpose of the Savior. Jesus' own prayer was that His followers become "one" as He was one with the Father. The disciples were committed to passionately pursuing God and waiting upon Him. They prayed, pursued, and patiently waited on Him...together. They were not alone. They understood that prayer was impacting, but they further discovered the unleashed power of "agreement." When they added "agreement" to their prayer, and unity to their prayer, the power of that prayer increased exponentially. Their was strength in having a united purpose. Their united purpose was to see the power of God do exactly what Jesus said it would do. He said that would receive power, comfort, wisdom, and guidance through the coming of the Holy Spirit. They weren't told to "make it happen." They were told to pray...and to do it together. It wasn't based on the prayer of one person, but of "one people." It's no wonder they experienced the presence of God in such a way that has forever changed the course of history. And yes, it can happen yet again!

It's not enough for your to say "Lord, teach me to pray." Rather, pray "Lord, teach us to pray." As you seek the face of God as an individual, don't lose sight of the importance of praying with others. You are not in this alone. You need others and others need you. Determine that the common goal in life is to worship Jesus with every part of your life. Identify those that share that common purpose. Make a point to get together and pray. Pray for each other. Pray for your weak areas, thank God together for the strong areas, and pray for those around you. When you join in unity and agreement in prayer, you will see the powerful presence of God that reminds you that He is always there.

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