I heard a discussion yesterday about the verse "For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them." Matthew 18:20.
The question was "so is Jesus not with us when we pray alone?".
I was at our Church's midweek service and the Vicar was talking about this.
He reminded us that Jesus also prayed alone, but there is power in corporate prayer.
He also said that praying together is especially important when someone is going through a tough time and they can't pray themselves, so we pray for them. I love that.
I had a bit of a revelation while we were praying, and I wanted to share this with you all.
These two verses came to mind. “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." John 14:6, and "Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love" 1 John 4:8.
So Jesus is the way, the truth, the life, and He is love.
When we pray with others, there is truth, there is life and there is love.
We pray differently with others. We pray for what THEY need, as well as what WE need, so there is love.
We pray together because that is what Jesus wants us to do, and coming to other Christian's in prayer is His way.
When we pray with others they hear our prayers, and so they hear our problems, our needs and our fears, as well as what we are thankful to God for...and so there is truth.
The fact that we gather in prayer as Christians at all means that we believe that Jesus died on the cross for our sins, and then rose again...and so there is life for us all.
Praying alone is just as important, it is vital to have a relationship with Him and to open up your heart to Him through your requests and your praise, putting your trust in Him for all things.
However, God also uses our prayers as a way to show others His love and His Grace when He answers us. He will answer prayers regardless, but "it is right to give thanks and praise" to God. It is important to share what God reveals to you and what He does for you with others, so that they might see how great, how loving and how amazing our God is.
During our service this morning, God put the lyrics to a song in a lady's mind. The song was about God being present. He also put the words to a prayer in another lady's mind...words about being before God.
Through these two revelations, the whole congregation was encouraged and knew that God was there with us. It just shows that sharing what God says to you is so important in strengthening others.
So when we pray alone, God hears us and answers us, but when we pray with others, we pray with love, truth and life, as is His way.