“The people of Judah came together to seek help from the Lord, indeed they came from every town in Judah to seek Him…. All the men of Judah, with their wives and children and little ones, stood there before the Lord.…all the people of Judah and Jerusalem fell down in worship before the Lord.”
Churches all over our nation opened their doors on the evening of September 11, 2001 as millions of people came together to pray and draw strength and encouragement from the Lord and from each other after the horrendous attack on America by our enemies.
Centuries before, in the tiny kingdom of Judah, entire families flocked to Jerusalem to stand in the courtyard of the temple of the Lord after finding out that their enemies planned to invade and destroy their country. When bad news came, they also came together – husbands, wives, children and even their babies – to seek the Lord’s help together.
Entire families stood before the Lord, in a national prayer meeting, and collectively gave the Lord their problem and then, together, experienced and worshiped God for His great answer. Standing there with their parents, the children learned that in times of trouble, they were to call upon the Lord.
When we have a crisis, who or what do our children see us turn to? Learning to lean on the Lord is the only thing that will give them hope and stability.
Neighbors, co-workers, friends, relatives all came together that day to pray. When life got rough all the Lord’s people gathered to call on the Lord together, standing shoulder to shoulder before Him.
When you experience life’s bumps and bruises, do you share them with your brothers and sisters in Christ? And do you shoulder their burdens in prayer as you kneel together?
For the people of Judah, their priority was praying together. Life stopped in Judah that day as God’s people gathered In Jerusalem to pray because praying together in unity distributed their burden and reminded them that they were not alone in the crisis.
In Matthew 18:19-20, Jesus promises us His presence and His power when we are unified in prayer. Jesus uses the Greek word, “symphone” in this verse for the word “agree”. We get our word, “symphony” from it and it means “to be harmonious” or to “sound the same.” Musicians unite in a symphony, each playing a different instrument, but producing beautiful music because their differences harmonize.
Prayer in the body of Christ is the same. When you pray with others, you have something unique to bring to the group that no one else can bring because of how God made you and because of His Holy Spirit within you. Likewise, you benefit from the presence of the Holy Spirit in those you pray with. As part of Christ’s family, the Holy Spirit within us is a gift to those around us and so when we pray together, He prays with us and through us and it is like the symphony – our differences harmonizing beautifully before the Lord.
God loves to hear the corporate, unified prayers of His people. That’s why Jehoshaphat’s and the people’s prayer was so effective and it is why Jesus calls us to pray with each other. Our prayers are music to God’s ears!
God’s plan is clearly for us, as His children, to be in community and corporate prayer as the most intimate expression of our unity. When we set aside our busyness and our personal agendas and come together in prayer to seek God’s answers, we experience His presence and His power together. Don’t silence the symphony by not praying with your brothers and sisters in Christ.
Praying together also increased their faith. Together in prayer, they remembered the sovereignty of their God and what He had done for them in the past, and their faith became strong. When we hear others pray out loud, we see a different perspective of the problem and we see their faith and it encourages us and grows our own faith.
As a result of this prayer meeting, God answered the prayers of His people and spoke through Jahaziel to tell them that He was taking care of business! They wouldn’t have to fight the battle. With this welcome news, all the people fell down together in worship before the Lord.
Great joy in the Lord came from lifting up their desperate need together, hearing from the Lord collectively and then all believing that He would do what He said He would do. God moved and the people experienced the sweet fellowship of hearing Him along together! Like sharing fellowship over a good meal instead of eating alone, their experience was richer because they came before the Lord and together saw His answer to their need.
Truth: Lean on others in prayer, be a support for others in prayer