An Overview of Praying with Others
When We Pray With Others – Part 1
In the sport of football, the game has to be won as a team. The same is true even in faith; we work together as a team in order to win the game or get the objective accomplished. In fact, the lesson that one of the greatest apostles gave us is that the family of faith, otherwise known as the body of Christ, is one body, with one Lord, one spirit, and one savior. We are a part of one team, the same team. Therefore, we have one job to do and that is learn how to work together as a team. Even Jesus made an observation, or gave a disclaimer, on how we can say that we’re effective as a team. In other words this is how we know that we’re winning the game, so to speak, is that we work together in love. Others will only know we are victorious when we love one another. Working as a team proves that we have and support the faith in which we believe.
Being a part of a body means we’re part of a team and we’re working together as one. As a body with many parts, then there are what we call sub-teams, what fingers are to the right hand. Today we focus on the team whose role is that of prayer. People who pray as a team would then need to know and become good at praying together.
Winning in Prayer
When executing like a team in prayer, one must know the players on the team and the positions in which they play. If you want to be successful and if we want to win the championship, we must learn to work well together. We have to be able to recognize that each person has a position of play and how to use those skills together so that we can have the best advantage or opportunity to be successful. Herein lies the question that would determine how to make prayer a team sport. What does the championship look like? What does a championship look like to you? What does a championship in prayer look like to you? Last question: is what we’re doing in prayer placing us in the best possible situation to win?
We want to introduce you to this concept of praying together but at a different level. Let me remind you of why we share these lessons. Ordinary, average, normal, what we’ve been seeing around us is not good enough to take us to the next level. See, anytime we’re satisfied with what’s average, what’s normal, what’s been done for hundreds of years, makes us stagnant, stale, and lacking progress. So in order to win a championship, the teams can’t stay the same. The level of play, the activity, the practices, the things that we do must not remain the same. Therefore over the next several installments, we will discuss the topics that follow.
As we often do, Pamela and I like to begin a new chapter, a new section, a new series with an overview. This overview is a summary of what you can expect within the pages to come, within each section that’s to follow. Here are the sections we have in store for you.
- Removing the negative feelings brought on when praying together.
How do you feel about praying in front of others or with others? Jesus gave an example when He asked this question. “Who do people say that I am?”  He could have answered the question for them, but wanted to know what they thought and what was going around. In the same way, we’d like to know the consensus when answering the question, how do you feel about praying with others? Using this example, we’re going to dig into what other people think about praying with a group of people, especially experienced people who pray.
We’re going to overcome some feelings of inferiority, some misnomers, and even some myths about praying with others. In fact, they’re not really myths. These feelings and concepts are real, but we’re gonna help you overcome those and transform how you do prayer with others. As you know, most people are not comfortable when praying in front of others. Listen to those words, most people, which makes it normal, don’t feel comfortable praying with others. We’re going to confront those feelings as well as others we’ve observed and use that knowledge to overcome them.
- Praying with others requires order and organization.
It’s said that when Peter addressed one particular group of early church-goers in order to replace a vacant apostle seat , they had a specific reason to gather in prayer. They gathered as a team. They didn’t gather just to be gathering, they gathered with a purpose. For what purpose are you gathering? Praying with others means we have to have order and organization. Otherwise, we’d have an environment of chaos, disunity, and lack of teamwork.
It’s easy to forget that praying together as a team is a teamwork. Praying together is teamwork. We must work together as a team. That brings us to the next point.
- Praying with others means we’re teaming up together.
At some point, we are all faced with praying in a group of people. Traditionally we’ve done it, but we want to talk about how we can do it in an extraordinary or non-traditional way. In this way, one will not only overcome the feelings that we often encounter, those natural feelings, but participate and enjoy participating. What would it take for you to enjoy being in the company of those who like praying and want to pray together as a team? What would it look like for us to win if we prayed together as a team?
We’re going to talk about the makeup of the team and what it takes to be a team player. What it looks like for your part on the team versus someone else’s part on the team. How someone should interact with you in prayer and how you should interact with them. What respect should be from your perspective and what should be given from their perspective? If we’re going to do prayer together, we’re going to need to figure out how this prayer thing works as a team.
The goal of prayer is for results. In fact, the goal of prayer is to put our petitions, our requests, before God as a group, as a team. We want to make sure that whatever we do doesn’t hinder us as a team from executing the playbook that God has given us to be successful and take prayer to the next level.
- Learning the “rules of play” in prayer.
Most of us have a private prayer life, but what happens when we bring our prayer life into connection with another person? What happens when we join forces together when we pray? Just like in sports, there are rules of play and there are penalties when the rules are broken.
In everything we do in large groups, there are rules. There are rules to know if we’ve done it successfully, achieved the goal, or won the game or not. Anytime we gather for a purpose, we have to have rules to determine whether we’ve been successful or not. How can we determine if we’re playing by the rules? I understand that most of us think that we don’t have rules when we pray, but that’s not true. When we’re praying with others, even the Scripture indicates that there are rules. If we desire to go to the next level in praying with others, we have to know and understand the rules.
- Minimize the penalties when praying together.
What are some of the penalties that we’ve seen occur? With the penalties that we’ve seen, what are the consequences associated that set us back when it comes to prayer? What happens when what we do is not acceptable or we break the rules? What are the resulting penalties when we’re not executing or operating properly? What happens when I drop and fumble the ball? What happens when our team is down and is looking for us, looking for me as a player, to score the winning point? If my play has been called, what happens when I don’t come through for the team? What’s the penalty? In other words, what’s at stake? When we go to the next level in prayer, we seldom forget what’s at stake. Let’s avoid the penalties so we can continue to move forward and do our best to win the championship as it relates to prayer.
In this section of next-level prayer, we’re talking about praying together in a group of people. Now I don’t want to limit that to praying at church because we find ourselves in many situations where we have an opportunity to pray together. If we take prayer, praying together to the next level and execute it, you will be more inclined to pray with your family at home. You’d be more inclined to pray with your loved ones who might be suffering with an illness or sickness in a hospital. You may be willing to pray for someone over a home they just purchased. You may want to pray with someone or a group of people in your small group. In order to do this successfully, we must consider the rules, the penalties, the atmosphere, and the attitude upon which to make that situation, that environment, conducive and desirable when it comes to prayer. You see, if we transform how we do prayer together, we transform how we pray, and the results that we see when we pray. We’re going to do whatever it takes to make sure we’re put in the best possible position to be successful. This is next-level prayer. We’re about to go to the next level when we’re praying with others.
Question: what is your honest and sincere opinion to describe how you feel about praying in a group?
 Matthew 16:13-15 NLT, Bible.com, accessed October 6, 2022, https://www.bible.com/bible/116/MAT.16.13-15.NLT
 Acts of the Apostles 1:12-26 NLT, Bible.com, accessed October 6, 2022, https://www.bible.com/bible/116/ACT.1.12-26.NLT
All Scripture references used by permission, see our Scripture copyrights.