When you stand praying with your congregation in church, you may not think much of it. But did you know that corporate prayer has the power to change circumstances in your city, your nation and your personal life?
The word of the Lord through Brother Copeland is that 2021 is the Year of the Local Church, and it’s no coincidence that we need the power of the local church now more than ever! We, as the Church, are being called to rise up and be the Church in the world. One of the biggest impacts we can make is through the power of united prayer.
Corporate prayer was something Jesus emphasized, as we see in Luke 11. When He taught His disciples to pray, He taught them to pray corporately, saying, “Our Father….” That’s because there are things you cannot achieve any other way but through corporate prayer.
But make no mistake, united prayer is far more than just a group of people praying at the same time. When you come before the Most High, it should change you, and it should change your circumstances. He is the Great Changer. That comes from a place of expectation that if two or three are gathered, the great I AM will be in the midst of us.
Sadly, most of the time united prayer in the church is approached with so much error, it becomes powerless because it is done out of habit rather than the leading of the Holy Spirit. When you’re simply reciting a prayer, it isn’t really praying, it is just parroting something. It becomes a religious tradition rather than a sincere seeking of God.
But we can change that! Here, we’re showing you how to active the power of united prayer in the local church, so you can be part of the great move of God that is happening now!
1. Be of One Accord for United Prayer
“They raised their voice to God with one accord.”—Acts 4:24 (NKJV)
When a church congregation comes together in prayer, it is important to take the time to prepare what you’re going to pray before God—to be in one accord. To activate the power of united prayer, a local body must be in agreement. It is a prayer that Jesus Himself guaranteed would bring results every time (Matthew 18:19).
While getting two or three gathered into agreement may be simple, it is difficult to get thousands of people to pray in one accord if there is not a well-planned direction for the prayer of petition.
How does a leader of corporate prayer prepare to rally a large group in one accord?
- Determine in advance what you are seeking from God—don’t just pray without any direction or purpose!
- Plan to pray the answer, not the problem. Too many churches pray the problem, and what ends up happening is if they pray for the sick, they talk more about sickness than about the goodness of God, which is not effective.
- Choose the scriptures on which you will stand, and prepare to lay them before the Lord.
The power of united prayer in the local church will be activated when you take the time to prepare the hearts of the congregation to pray in one accord. Praying at the same time simply isn’t enough!
Watch Gloria Copeland and Pastor George Pearsons discuss the power of the prayer of agreement.
2. Praise God During United Prayer
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.” –Philippians 4:6 (NKJV)
Another important element of united prayer in the local church is praise and worship. Praise is an essential part of prayer, not only because it is mandated in God’s Word, but because it is the weaponry God has given us to bring down the mental strongholds of fear, doubt, unbelief and every other wrong spirit. When we flood our thinking with the power of praise, we give faith an opportunity to grow and operate effectively—we activate the power of our united prayers.
Of the power of praise and thanksgiving in prayer, Bill Johnson said, “One of the most important teachings I have ever received…suggested that if we only have 10 minutes to pray, we should spend about eight praising God.”
When you come together as a local church in united prayer, praise and worship is a critical element—praising God in one accord in a prayer of agreement will bring heaven to earth. It will open the hearts of the people to the goodness of God and create a spirit of expectancy for miracles. It will activate power.
Psalm 63:4 says, “I will praise you as long as I live, lifting up my hands to you in prayer.” When we lift our hands in worship, praising God in the Name of Jesus, it is really difficult to stay in a state of worry. The united prayer of praise and thanksgiving opens the door to the impossible in any situation.
3. Intercede During United Prayer
“Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men.” —1 Timothy 2:1 (NKJV)
Intercession will always activate power during united prayer because it comes from a place of OBEDIENCE. We are called “first of all” to pray for all men. That’s a command, not just an idea of what to pray about.
When an entire congregation comes together in one accord in intercession, things are going to change. Praying words of faith in petition and supplication causes God to move in response.
Let’s make one thing clear: Intercession is not begging God. United prayer as a local church is a mighty army going forth to drive out darkness, so the Word of God can penetrate with signs, wonders and miracles. United intercessory prayer is the local church taking its place of authority and operating boldly from that God-given position.
Who are we, as the local church, to intercede for?
- Intercede for your city. Joshua 1:3 says, “Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given to you” (ESV). That means, not only does the local church have the right to take authority in its city, but it also has the responsibility to do so. You can bring heaven to earth in your city through united prayer in the local church. Whatever your city needs, you are the light that can drive out the darkness and usher in God’s presence.
- Intercede for your enemies. This one is tough, but we must! Matthew 5:44 (ESV) says, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” And let’s not forget our verse for this section, 1 Timothy 2:1, which tells us to intercede for all men. That means…all men—the good and the bad. How do you do this? Begin by thanking God that He died for the ungodly. Pray that they’ll come to know Him, and be delivered and set free from darkness.
- Intercede for your pastor. Pastoring is a tough job, and while many make demands of a pastor, not many hold him up in prayer. The devil is after our pastors, and we, united in prayer as the local church, can hold them up and stand for their deliverance from wicked and unreasonable men. Pray that God will fill your pastor’s mouth and that he will speak boldly with utterance in the Holy Ghost. Pray that he won’t try to please man, but God alone. Pray that he won’t back down from the truth even when he faces opposition.
For more prayer ideas, see 7 Points of Intercession To Pray as a Church.
There is power when you activate united prayer at the local church! Coming together in one accord to petition, praise and intercede before the Lord has ushered in powerful results and even revival. This is the Year of the Local Church—let’s rise up as the army of God with one accord and pray in a mighty move of God in the earth!
Watch Kenneth Copeland with Dr. Don and Mary Colbert discuss the kind of prayer that leads to triumph!
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