This week we begin a 9-week series entitled ’Praying Together’; this series is loosely based upon the book and course, ‘The Prayers of many’ by Mike Betts. During this series, we want to learn about the importance of corporate prayer.
‘‘But let people and animals be covered with sackcloth. Let everyone call urgently on God. Let them give up their evil ways and their violence. Who knows? God may yet relent and with compassion turn from his fierce anger so that we will not perish.” When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he relented and did not bring on them the destruction he had threatened.’ (Jonah 3:8-10)
SUMMARY: God is moved to act in power and mercy when we humbly unite in prayer.
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This week, as we begin this series on praying together and how we need to have a revolution in the church in regard to our attitude and commitment to this, I was reminded of the text that we looked at in our Jonah series. Here we see that God responds in compassion to the united repentance and prayers of the inhabitants of Nineveh. There is something powerful about a united response.
In a similarly challenging context, the prophet Joel calls for a united response in prayer:
‘Declare a holy fast; call a sacred assembly. Summon the elders and all who live in the land to the house of the Lord your God, and cry out to the Lord.’ (Joel 1:14)
United prayer moves God’s compassion. It must be understood that our united prayer is a response to the Holy Spirit’s conviction. It is God who sends spiritual refreshing and revival and He must receive all the praise. However, in an unfathomable mystery, our united prayer for Him to move has great effect. An example of this is what we read about regarding the Prayer Meeting Revival of 1858:
‘Have you ever heard of the great 1858 American revival? An obscure man laid it up in his heart to pray that God would bless his country. That man was Jeremiah Lanphier…burdened by the need around him, he decided to invite others to join him in a noonday prayer meeting every Wednesday in Fulton Street…for one hour. The first meeting six attended, the next week twenty, third week forty. They decided to hold a mid-day prayer meeting daily. Then came a financial crash and ensuing panic as banks failed. The atmosphere was ripe for God to move. The prayer meeting grew to a hundred, the others began to start prayer meetings; at last there was scarcely a street in New Your that was with a prayer meeting…6,000 were attending daily prayer meetings in New York. This spread to other cities… by May it was reliably estimated that there were 50,000 conversions in New York, the population of which was around 80,000…There were several New England towns in which not a single person can be found unconverted’…The revival become known as the ‘prayer meeting revival’. Edwin Orr, after long and careful research, endorsed the estimate ‘that fully one-million were converted out of a population of less than thirty million, in the revival in the two-year period of 1858-59. The churches actually increased their membership by this figure…solid, lasting converts.’ (Great Revivals, Colin Whittaker)
RESPONSE - Prize true fellowship which unites in prayer
God heard the united prayers of the Ninevites when Jonah preached to them. He is ready and willing to hear the united prayers of His children when we cry out for mercy. Let’s do all we can to be as often as we can at the places where the church gathers to pray together. Let’s be excited about the truth that praying together moves God to compassion.
COMMUNITY GROUP NOTES AND STUDY
It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.
What has God been speaking to you about from His Word this week?
3. STUDY AND PRAY TOGETHER
During this series, we will be using the 'Prayers of Many' course by Mike Betts.
I encourage you to buy a copy of the book from: https://prayersofmany.org/book#buybook
If you need assistance in buying a book please send an email to the church office and we will happily purchase you a copy.
Please download the course handbook from: