Summary: This sermon defines the requirements and results of corporate prayer in the local church.
Ill- On February 24, 1991, a lightning ground offensive was launched by the U.S. and allied forces in the Persian Gulf War. Its effectiveness shattered the defending Iraqi forces. Within days the world’s fourth largest army was crushed, tens of thousands of prisoners of war were taken and the conflict was ended. What explains this stunning defeat? For over a month a relentless air campaign had targeted the defending forces. Its strategic penetration had broken the defenders’ infrastructure and dissolved their power. These events speak a powerful truth about prayer for Christians today, as we seek to take our communities and world with the good news of Christ. We have weapons with "divine power to demolish strongholds" (2 Corinthians 10:4), as "we struggle... not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." (Ephesians 6:12) Concerted personal and corporate prayer is our air offensive. An effective air campaign comes first. When it is waged and air dominance established, the ground campaign becomes effective and decisive. (Submitted by Jim Egli, Flanagan Mennonite Church, Flanagan, Illinois…Contributed to Sermon Central by: Brad Bailey)
We have been studying the subject of corporate prayer. Corporate prayer is our air offensive. Corporate prayer is strategically important but a subject of which we receive very little teaching. We have set aside today to broaden our thinking on this subject. The phrase corporate prayer is not used in the Bible but the concept is perfectly defined in Acts 1:14. Webster defines corporate as being “united or combined”. The lesson we learn from this verse is that there are times when God’s people come together in united prayer for a specific purpose. This is the air attack that should precede all spiritual offensive efforts. If we, as a church, are not united in prayer everything we do will be crippled. This is something God has shown me in recent years. If we are not united in prayer, no matter the project, we limit our effectiveness. This is a lesson all of us should absorb. Not matter what the project (revival, 40 days of purpose, lay renewal, fall festival, etc.) all of us who participate in our church should be of one accord in lifting the event in prayer.
I would like to discuss this subject by doing a simple two point sermon. First, I want to consider the requirements for effective corporate prayer. Then, I want to consider the results of effective corporate prayer.
I. What are the requirements for Effective Corporate Prayer. We see the requirements in the context of Acts 1.
A. The first requirement for corporate prayer is dependency. The early disciples had been stripped of all answers, all solutions, and all pride. It was within that context that they prayed together corporately. They were totally dependent on God.
We sometimes substitute other things for dependence on God.