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  • Writer's pictureMatt Beaney

#805. TOGETHER WE HAVE MORE STRENGTH (2/5/23)


This week, we continue our nine-week series, 'Praying Together,' exploring the great power of communal prayer. Based on the teachings of Mike Betts and his book and course, 'The Prayers of Many,' our series aims to deepen our understanding and practice of praying together as a community.

In this week's devotionals, we draw upon the powerful analogy of uprooting a tree together to illustrate how praying in larger numbers has great power.


…On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favour granted us in answer to the prayers of many.’ (2 Corinthians 1:10-11)

Summary: Larger prayer groups can be more powerful because of the encouragement we derive from one another.


You can watch this devotional at:

Yesterday we saw that the size of a prayer meeting is not of fundamental importance. To God, praying for God’s will, united in Christ and united together gives great power to our prayers. However, a larger group is very helpful to us because of the encouragement that is derived from a larger group. This God-given principle is experienced all the time; anything that is hard to do is made easier with the support of friends.


Mike Betts puts it like this:

‘How can we think about how this concert of prayer, this coming together in prayer is more effective because we are many? Some years ago in our back garden, we had a conifer tree that had grown very large. It came to the point where we had to cut it down. Being the first time I’d ever had to cut a tree down, I just cut it almost to ground level and then began the long, laborious task of digging all of the roots out. That took a long while and a lot of sweat, and I was sure we left some of the roots in. It was the first time I’d ever done it and it wasn’t the tidiest job. After finishing, I thought “I don’t want to do that again in a hurry!” It was a lot of work to get those roots out – lots of single-handed hard work. Some years later, this time in our front garden, we had a willow tree which had also become too big for the garden. I remember thinking with some concern that we’d have to go through all that root digging again. A friend, who was more knowledgeable in tree surgery than I was, gave me some advice. He said that when we cut the tree down, rather than cutting it all the way to the ground, cut it down so it was about at head height. His experience was that if we were to do that, then a group of us could get hold of the trunk and lever it out. Together we could uproot it much more easily than we would have done with a spade at the roots. We followed his advice, and although we still had to do a lot of digging around the base of the tree – it didn’t just pop out of the ground – nevertheless, the comparison between levering the trunk with a group of friends, and working on your own digging roots with a spade is stark. The more friends you’ve got helping you to use the trunk as leverage the easier it is to uproot something.’ (Betts, Mike. The Prayers of Many)

A larger group can be more effective because we derive faith and encouragement from each other. When I meet with a larger group, their gifts, prayers and worship inspire my praying. I certainly find it easier to keep going when I’m surrounded by a large group of faithful brothers and sisters.


RESPONSE

Zechariah warns us:

“Who dares despise the day of small things?” (Zechariah 4:10)

Let’s believe God to move in power if our prayer meetings are small. However, let’s believe that God wants us to grow our community’s devotion to united prayer. Let’s do all we can to be present so as to bring our encouragement to our prayer gatherings.

 

COMMUNITY GROUP NOTES AND STUDY


1. NOTICES

It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.


2. ICEBREAKER

What has God been speaking to you about from His Word this week and how has this helped you / affected your life?

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:




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