There are some things God won’t do in our church (or in our private lives) if we don’t pray. Is that because God is being awkward? No, it’s because he loves us. He regards what we do and how we live as very important. But he regards it as even more important that we have a relationship of trust with him. If we pray, we are taking notice of God and not taking him for granted. How many wives have said to their husbands (who might be helpful and kind to their wives): “Why don’t you talk to me? We never seem to make time to talk.” God is like that. We might try to serve him, supporting his church and he’s pleased with that. But he’s saying: ““Why don’t you talk to me?”
Do you remember when the children were small? You wanted them to ask for the good things, saying ‘please’ and ‘thank you.’ In other words, you wanted them to develop a relationship of courtesy and gratitude with you. God wants the same with us. So he won’t bless the church (or the individual) as much as he wants to unless we say ‘please’ (pray) and ‘thank you’ (giving thanks). That’s why it is essential to pray if we really want the church to grow spiritually and numerically.
But why corporate prayer in a prayer group? As Jesus said: “if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.” (Matt 18:19-20). There are some things God will only do in response to corporate prayer and a prayer group allows more time to pray about more topics and to concentrate on some of the more important ones.
© Tony Higton: see conditions for reproduction