I never liked praying in groups until I got around people who really knew how to do group prayer. When I saw it done well, my attitude toward it changed.
Good group prayer is not just serial praying by a group of individuals. In good group prayer one person prays, and what they pray is what others in the group were getting ready to pray.
When one person finishes, the next person picks up where the previous person left off, as if they were reading from the same paragraph.
Good group prayer is like one person praying through different voices. And when it’s finished you know it. It gets quiet; everything that needed to be prayed has been prayed.
If you have ever been involved in good group prayer you know what I’m talking about. I’m in a church that knows how to pray, and I love praying with them. Here are three keys to praying in a group.
1. Listen. Good group prayer is not so much about speaking as it is about listening. You have to listen and be able to hear what the Holy Spirit is saying, then you pray it. The Holy Spirit is inspiring the group as to what to pray (Romans 8:26), and those who hear it pray it. Because the source is the same (the Holy Spirit) there is consistency. Because fasting enables one to hear the Lord more clearly, fasts are great times to pray as a group.
2. Agree. Because good corporate prayer comes from the same source, there should be agreement. So, when you agree, acknowledge the agreement. This is a confirmation to the person who prayed that they heard the Holy Spirit. Jesus said “if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.” (Matthew 18:19). If two of you are hearing the same thing from the Holy Spirit and pray it you can rest assured you will have what you pray; otherwise the Holy Spirit wouldn’t be urging you to pray it.
3. Pray from your spirit. I’m a person who naturally trusts my mind more than my gut, but good group prayer doesn’t originate in one’s mind, but one’s spirit because that is where the Holy Spirit touches and inspires. Distinguishing between your mind and spirit is something that takes experience. One way I tell the difference: in my spirit communication tends to appear in images; in my mind it can usually be traced back to a logical sequence of thought.
Hope that helps. More tomorrow… GS