Living the Christian Life – Chapter 7: A Place of Prayer

Inspiration MinistriesBy Inspiration Ministries3 Minutes

Jesus quoted the prophet Isaiah when He said, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer’” (Isaiah 56:7; Matthew 21:13 NASB). While Jesus was speaking of the Jewish temple, the truth is that any house of worship dedicated to the God of the Bible is His house—and as such, it is to be a house of prayer.

Another wonderful benefit of being a member of a local church or Bible study is the opportunity to pray with others. The Bible makes it clear that prayer is powerful (see chapter 6). God promises that He hears us when we pray. He says He will answer prayer—but He declares that it must be prayer that is offered according to His Word and with the proper motives.

Another key to answered prayer is to join with others in lifting up petitions to God.

“Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them” (Matthew 18:19-20 ESV).

It’s not that God doesn’t want you to pray alone. He does. But our faith is strengthened when we come into agreement in prayer. Scripture says it this way:

“A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can
stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a
triple-braided cord is not easily broken” (Ecclesiastes 4:12 NLT).

This brings up another element in our need for fellowship. While we have a need to be in larger groups for what we call “corporate worship,” we also have a need for smaller, more intimate Bible studies and fellowships. While large weekly church services provide various opportunities for prayer, smaller Bible studies and fellowship groups allow more time and opportunity to share personal observations, to ask questions, and to pray. It is in these small groups that we grow to know people on a more personal basis, rather than just greeting them quickly in the parking lot or lobby of the church.

Because of these deeper relationships, disciples grow to know and care for each other. This is called by some 20-20 vision, taken from Acts 20:20 (NLT) where Paul writes, “I never shrank back from telling you what you needed to hear, either publicly [corporate services] or in your homes [more intimate, small groups].”

Opportunities are often given to pray for one another during small group gatherings. Then as friendships grow, many will take it upon themselves to write down prayer needs in a notebook or in their phones and then pray for those things throughout the week. People in the group grow in faith as prayers are answered, and God moves on behalf of the members.