The Power of Corporate Prayer/Intercession
Introduction (5 minutes): Share a little of your own personal story and share of how God helped you see the critical importance of the power of corporate prayer. Then, begin the session by having someone in the group read Leviticus 26:8. This is the foundation for this session. This is actually a foundational principle in living an effective life of prayer! As we live a life of prayer, God calls us to do it in community, with others. God shows us throughout Scripture what happens when His people come together in prayer!
- The Power of Corporate Intercession (10 minutes):
In Leviticus 26 the context of this verse is God asking His people to live according to His ways and principles. God’s kingdom ways are different than our earthly ways. When He is with us and on our side NO One can come against us! As a matter of fact, we 5 of us will be able to chase 100 and 100 of us will chase 10,000 and we will over power our enemies! This is true in the spirit as well.
Let’s consider what God does through the power of unified corporate prayer? Ask the question: “How important was corporate/community prayer to the early church?” You can look throughout the book of Acts especially and read about how God uses united corporate prayer to launch His struggling church. He tells the disciples before His ascension that they were to remain in Jerusalem until the Holy Spirit comes upon them, so they would be able to be effective witnesses of Him. It was while they were in the upper room in prayer that the Holy Spirit does come upon them in a powerful way and all Jerusalem becomes a witness of the power of corporate prayer!
We see this time and time again throughout the New Testament. If you have time you may want to share a short story from your own personal life when the Lord clearly revealed to you how powerfully He works through united corporate prayer. If you don’t have one to share find a modern day story to share with the group.
It’s amazing isn’t it that God so desires to partner with us and help draw our hearts closer in deep communion with His and as we do this He calls us to pray in community and He works powerfully. Let’s look at some other Scriptures that challenge us to give ourselves to unified corporate prayer!
- Group Discussion (15 minutes):
Now have the entire group break up into subgroups. You will need to have at least 4 subgroups to match the 4 passages listed in the Participant’s notes. Depending upon the size you may want to break into many groups of 5-6 persons. Assign each subgroup a specific passage of Scripture. Have them consider this question as they look at the Scriptures, “What do we learn about the importance of corporate prayer from these passages?” Give the subgroups 10 minutes to look at the Scriptures and have them assign someone to report to the group with their findings.
After 10 minutes have each group share briefly their findings in Scripture. It doesn’t really matter what order you have them share their findings. This is to reinforce what you have shared. This is critical in the process of us learning. Engaging them around Scripture will change all our lives!
In summary, just mention some of the things that they have listed as they have been sharing. Make sure you are being very sensitive to the Lord to highlight the things the group needs to be reminded of from the passages. Like, in 1 Timothy 2 we see that Paul asks men everywhere to pray for these things so many will be saved and others will live quiet and peaceful lives. In Act 4 we see that through persecution the body comes together in united prayer, the place they were in was shaken and God fills them with His Spirit and they go out speaking the word of God with boldness! Now that is a prayer meeting! In the Lord’s Prayer we see that it is a corporate call to “us” as we pray, “Our Father…” It is to be done in community. And in Matthew 18 we see that there is something that happens when we pray together, that doesn’t happen when we pray by ourselves!
Read the PowerPoint slides (# 4 & #5). There is something very significant that happens when we are in a group of pray-ers directed by the Holy Spirit. What one person prays effects what the Holy Spirit leads the next to pray and so on. It’s like a multiplication that happens. And where we end up is not what we were expecting. As we do this, keeping in step with the Holy Spirit, the Lord leads us to accomplish greater things and He begins to bring His kingdom upon the earth so that His will can be accomplished here as it is in heaven. Now that’s the power of corporate prayer! In closing read page 2 of the participant’s handout.
- Small Group Prayer (15 minutes):
To close out this session, have the entire group break into small groups of 2-3 people. Have them then share with each other what they have sensed the Lord speak to them during this session and what steps they will be taking in their lives in the days ahead. Then have then pray for each other! After 5-7 minutes of sharing prompt them to pray for each other.
- Close the session in prayer!
After they have prayed for each other close the session with a short prayer of dedication of the group as they seek to live out these life changing principles as we seek to live out a life that is radically committed to seeing the power of corporate or community intercession unleashed where we live.