Summary: Corporate prayer is the force that shakes the world.
The Force that Shakes the World
1. E.M. Bounds, a Methodist minister and Author in the late 1800’s called prayer “the force that shapes the world.”
2. Re-word his quote: “The church in prayer is a force that shakes the world.”
3. Read text, and tell of Acts 2.
a. We think Pentecost; it’s more; the church birthed in prayer!
4. When God’s people come together and pray – it is truly a force that shakes the world!
5. First, I want us to see why corporate prayer is different than individual prayer; then, I want us to answer the question: When does our coming together to pray shake the world?
Why corporate prayer is different
1. I don’t want to take away the importance and the impact of our prayers as individuals. We all have seen the effect of those prayers in our lives. But, I do want to say that something very important takes place when we come together as the body of Christ in prayer.
2. So, first, corporate prayer allows us to come together as the body of Christ.
3. Coming together teaches us to care for one another – to be considerate of one another, and to love one another.
a. The opposite of the world – “look out for number 1!”
4. It teaches us what it means to be unified; of one heart and one mind.
5. It gives us opportunity to do as James teaches and “pray for one another.”
6. Corporate prayer also focuses our attention on the need at hand.
7. Instead of our praying being about many different things – we unify our prayer and pray together for one thing at a time. This focuses our attention on the need – and focuses our prayer on reaching God with that need.
8. Corporate prayer leads us into a real experience of worship, together.
9. Our individual praying does make a difference – but when a church begins praying together, we begin to see the Spirit of God move in a mighty way.
10. Think about the birth of the Church of God denomination.
11. When we come together, as the body, in prayer – God begins to do amazing things!
When does our prayer shake the world?
I. When we pray for those who are sick.
1. James 5:14 “Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord.”
a. So many are sick and suffering.
2. We have the opportunity to bind together and pray for the sick among us; and we can really see a difference be made!
II. When we pray for families to be restored.
1. So many families today have been broken. And as a church, our families should be a priority in our prayer.
2. I don’t believe that God desires for families to be broken; I want to see families be strong; we need to pray for families to be strong!
III. When we pray for our community.
1. We’ve been put where we are for a reason – and we need to pray for the well-being of our community, and for God to work in our community.
2. Not only here – but our community becomes larger when we remember the fact that not all of us live down the street.
3. What an outreach! What an opportunity to make a difference!
4. Our prayer for the community should lead us to take action and reach out to our community in the name of Jesus.
IV. When we pray for our church.
1. Jim Cymbala and the Brooklyn Tabernacle story.
2. We also need to pray for the health of our church – pray that people would be saved, pray that people would grow, pray for Sunday school teachers, pray for the pastor and the leaders – we need to cover our church with prayer.
3. God will lead the church if the church will seek Him in prayer!
V. When we pray for people to come to Christ for salvation.
1. Research was done for a book on thriving churches, and one aspect read like this: We encountered a few churches that have focused prayer times for God’s Spirit to work in the lives of friends and family who are being invited to return to church. The power of prayer is evident in many of these churches. “It is absolutely amazing,” Donna exclaimed. “We will pray for these people by name, and then we see them show up at church a few weeks later. That excites us to pray even more.”
2. When we begin praying for people in this way, it also makes us more sensitive to the opportunities that we have to be a witness to them, and to show our love for them.