Yes, but how much, and how many?
Does it make any difference how many pray, or is just one enough? And is one prayer enough, or should we pester God till we get what we want?
Prayer can start with one, and if you’re on your own that’s all you can do (e.g., Acts 9:11), but groups can often pray better together. The Lord’s prayer begins ‘Our Father; He spoke of gatherings of at least two or three; and the early church prayed together (Mt 6:9; 18:20; Acts 1:14; 4:24; 12:12). Groups encourage, strengthen, help cover all the bases, find agreement. And there’s something helpful about meeting regularly too.
Prayer isn’t just about getting what we want: Not my will, but yours..., Jesus prayed – having asked three of his disciple to watch with him (Mt 26:39). And we’re promised answers to prayers ‘in Jesus’ name’, with faith that what we ask is actually God’s will (Mt 21:22; Jn 14:13). As for how long we should pray, Jesus encourages perseverance: ask, seek, knock. And he himself responded to the urgent persistence of a worried Mum (Lk 11:9; Mt 15:22). Prayer is not a rite, a formula, a handle to crank God into action. It’s an expression to him of longing and deep caring, like that Mum.
When God’s Spirit gives us a heart for something, then a lifetime of seeking prayer isn’t too long, and will not be disregarded. What do you long for in your church, or circuit? What has the Lord given you a heart for? Who else could you team up with to get what God wants?
A prayer for each week
Father God, thank you for prayer – that we can speak with you at any time and from any place. Please help us to make more use of it, and always to be in when you call, just as you are with us. Amen.
Father God, thank you for others in our fellowship who’re prayer oriented, talking with you and listening. Please help us to explore together the privilege of prayer, and so praise you in practice. Amen.
Father God, thank you for revealing to us what you want, in this world and in us. Please help us to pray your will into being, trusting your promises, set out in your Word and shared by your Spirit. Amen.
Father God, thank you for the dimension of everlasting, into which you fit all our times. As, day by day, we come before your throne in prayer, please help us to see things through your eyes, and trust. Amen.
Father God, thank you for showing us, through Jesus, that you are real, loving, forgiving, holy, and yet approachable. Please help us to come to you boldly, in the name of Jesus, for the help we need. Amen.
Your own prayers