There are things in life that we struggle to do. And for some of us, that’s prayer. When the topic of prayer comes up, we feel guilty. We ask ourselves why we don’t pray more. What is it about prayer that we struggle with?
If we are honest with ourselves, we struggle with prayer not because we can’t connect to it but because, at times, we genuinely don’t believe we need help. We only ask for help when we really need it because we often think we can do life on our own.
The Bible tells us to pray both alone and together. Jesus tells us to come to Him even to pray in a secret place. Praying alone is great and we need to do it because there’s a power in singular prayer. However, Jesus also prayed with His disciples many times. Communal prayer isn’t better than praying alone. It’s just a different experience.
At the time of Paul’s writing to the Ephesians, there was a lot of change in the world, similar to ours today. It has everything to do with this idea of who is in and out. Who are the people on the inside and who are the people on the outside?
Paul sees this as his platform, the way to bring the good news to people who were on the outside. He shares that because of Jesus, we all can be welcomed into relationship with God.
God worked in this way through Jesus so that the world could approach God with freedom and confidence through us, through the church. This is the Gospel in its most simple form.
God sent His Son Jesus to live, die, and rise again, conquering sin so that those who were outside could gather together as the church and approach Him with boldness and confidence.
So, when we pray individually, we make our requests known to God and develop intimacy with our Father. When we pray together, we fulfill God’s intention for the Church, which is “to make known to everyone the mystery of God in Jesus.”
This is what communal prayer does. There is a sense of unity with God and other believers in Jesus from God’s Spirit. Our unity together is how the world knows about Christ.
So, we understand God’s intention for the church, the unity that comes, and the power of declaring Jesus as Lord to the world. We just don’t know what to say or how to go about it. In verse 14, Paul’s saying that God’s intention is that the world would know the love of God and be able to approach Him through prayer.
Praying together isn’t asking God to change situations for us; it’s asking that God would change us for situations.
When our prayers are rooted in God’s intention, we are unified in that intention. Our prayers embody something new. They represent more of what God is doing in us and less of what God can do for us.
For some of us, praying together isn’t a challenge. For others, hesitation comes with being vulnerable to God and others. And praying together starts with 2 steps.
First – Take a minute
Pause and consider something for a little bit of time. Pause and consider that God is able, willing, powerful, and present.
Second – Take a step
Start by praying with just one other person. This can be a spouse, a close friend, or a member of the prayer team at church. Start small and see the impact.
Many of us want to see results, but when we don’t, we think the process doesn’t work. But prayer isn’t a light switch. It’s a process of spiritual transformation that God does in us together.
For more LHC content, subscribe to our newsletter below or follow us on Instagram.
Want to play catch-up, or are you looking for a specific topic? Check out our collection of sermons here.