“Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” Matthew 18:19–20
Praying together in corporate prayer should be an important part of our prayer lives. As God’s Word shows, when we pray in agreement our prayers become powerful.
But how do we pray in agreement? Is it simply saying, “Yes, I agree!” when someone else prays? To some extent, it is as simple as that, as we join together in prayer simply saying I agree is the easiest way of agreeing. But joining together in a prayer of agreement can be far richer.
Often when we pray someone begins with one issue and then the next person prays for something else and so the prayer time continues. We join together in agreement for one another but at the end of the prayer time everyone has really just been praying their own prayers. Now, if we imagine that each prayer offered is like a piece of a jigsaw puzzle, then at the end of the prayer time there would just be a bunch of random pieces on the table.
A better way forward is to let our prayers build on each other’s prayers. One person starts and the next person picks up the theme and continues the prayer. To use the jigsaw illustration, the first person puts their puzzle piece down and then the next person puts a connecting piece down. To do that well it requires everyone paying attention to what is being prayed and everyone needs to be listening to the Holy Spirit, who guides and directs where the next prayer piece needs to go. So at the end of the prayer time there is a picture, which has formed.
For example, if one person begins to pray for the leaders in the church the next person could pray specifically for the elders and then some one else could pray for a particular issue the elders may be dealing with and someone else may then pray for a family who is affected by the issue the elders are working on and so the prayer continues to build. If one theme comes to an end then someone can pick up another theme and pray. For example, they could pray for the work of the deacons.
Praying in agreement by building on each other’s prayers is a powerful way of effectively covering issues with prayer. It allows the different gifts of individuals to be used together, it enhances fellowship as the Holy Spirit directs, and brings the jigsaw puzzle picture together.