Elder Keith Ellis
Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. Matthew 18:19
As a church body, not only should we be be in agreement concerning the doctrine we believe, but also the issues which present themselves causing us to petition God for help. It is our Christian duty to pray for one another. Prayer is simply speaking to God concerning the things in your heart which trouble you, or voicing the praise that He is so worthy of. We can and do experience answers to prayer concerns we never even share with anyone else. However many times circumstances present themselves that seem so overwhelming to us. In our minds these require God perform a miracle. It may be easy for us to pray to God for certain things. However when a situation presents itself that appears to great for us to pray about, we turn to others and ask them to pray with us. When we sing a hymn, we all sing from the same page. We should all be reading from the same page, so to speak, concerning our prayer request also. When we do, we can expect God will answer our prayers in a mighty way. Often you just think you know how God will resolve a situation in answer to prayer. But trust me, when God answers, it will be in a way that you never imagined. And The Lord does it this way so He receives all the glory.
If we do not share our prayer concerns with our brothers and sisters, we should not expect the full comfort, edification, and deliverance that comes from asking for and engaging in intercessory prayer. There is a certain humility required in order to do this. Sometimes it is not easy to tell others of situations which may be embarrassing to us , or cause us some shame. We need to be reminded that we are to confess our faults one to another. Not so the rumor mill will have something to kick around. God forbid that such a deplorable condition should exist in the church. When earnest prayer requests are voiced for any other reason than to lift them up to God, encourage and build up one another in the kingdom of God, it is a sad situation. Be assured God knows all the details of any situation. We can share our prayer concerns with one another without disclosing embarrassing details. In the church all things are to done decently, and in order. There needs to be a time at some point in the service where everyone is given opportunity to voice their prayer concerns publicly. And when it is done, modesty and decency should guide what we say concerning our prayer request. Granted there is not a lot of time on Sunday morning service to voice request, and some may be hesitant to say anything because of time restraints. The lack of time to fully investigate our prayer concerns on Sunday morning leads me to see the necessity for a separate prayer meeting.
When we earnestly pray for one another we become intimate with each others concerns and nurture a special bonding process, which is wrought through the Holy Spirit. Paul says this in Colossians 2:2 "That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ;" This knitting together of the hearts Paul speaks of does not take place without getting to know someone. One of the critical elements of Spirit led fellowship is humbling yourselves, not only before God, but before the brethren. Remember, we all have been delivered the same way, by the grace and mercy of God. When we truly esteem others better than ourselves, we find ourselves "fit to be knit." Are you "fit to be knit?"
Now the word of God has many examples of individuals praying to God and receiving an answer. Also, the church , as a body, can also expect great or even greater things when all walk in one accord and all mind the same things. Remember, our God, is able to do exceeding abundantly above all the we ask or think. Nothing is impossible with Him. He tells us, we have not because we have not, ask that your joy might be full. The Lord desires we live a life full of joy. This life of joy is made manifest in communicating with Him thru prayer and humble obedience to His word. Even more so, communication with one another concerning our prayer lives becomes essential.
If someone thinks enough of us to ask us to pray for them, we need to be diligent to listen and seriously consider their request. Of course we need to make sure that the things we ask are in accordance with God's will. Knowing what Gods will is comes from diligent prayerful study of His word. Many of the details of our individual prayer request will change over time as God answers these petitions. However I believe there are some fundamental things for which we should pray for everyday. As long as we are on the earth we will need to pray for these things, regardless of the ever changing individual request.
If you do not have a time set aside each day to pray to God, make time. The saying goes, we always have time for the things we put first. Find a peaceful and quiet time during your day, or night. Enter your prayer closet and pray for;
Peace and Unity in the Church
The Sick & Afflicted
Our Families, Nation, Leaders & Soldiers
Forgiveness of Our Sins
Repentance to Acknowledge Truth
Leadership of The Holy Spirit
Doors of Utterance
Laborers for The Harvest
Growth in Knowledge and Grace
Gods Presence each time we meet
Gods Glorification in All We Say and Do
We should ask God for these things part of our everyday prayer life. Each of the items listed above are rich with the principle elements of the Christian walk and deserves detailed explanation, which may follow at another time. Experience tells me that these things are instrumental for spiritual growth in our individual and church lives. Requesting these things on a daily basis will serve as a good foundation as we pray concerning the individual and detailed request we receive from people we talk to each day. Lets agree together to pray for the things mentioned above, and the individual request we receive each week. Watch and behold as God answers our prayers.