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V Cornerstone Church Corporate Prayer

Corporate Prayer

Biblical Precedent for Corporate Prayer The corporate prayer meeting is arguably the most neglected function in the Church today. The prayer meeting usually has the smallest attendance of all the church functions. However, the prayer meeting should be the most attended because it is the most important. The enemy has attacked this function because he knows the power that will be released through corporate prayer in the church. The word "corporate" means combined into one. It has the idea of their being many people unified as one. This is how the church should function. We are truly many members, but only one body. The early church understood the importance of being one in prayer.

These all with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer, along with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers (Acts 1:14). And when they heard this, they lifted their voices to God with one accord and said... (Acts 4:24).

But why was this agreement in prayer so important to the early church? The answer to that question is found in Matthew where Jesus says:

Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven (Matthew 18:19).

Therefore, we know that there is power in agreement. Disunity and disagreement have no place in a prayer meeting. If power lies in agreement, what is the result of disagreement? Therefore, we have seen that the Lord wants His children to pray to Him together, in agreement. We have also seen that the early church obeyed this command. Practical Guidelines and Principles Concerning Corporate Prayer * The purpose of corporate prayer 1) To come together in unity and agreement and ask God to fulfill specific requests. 2) To seek the guidance of the Lord for our local church and the individuals in the church. 3) To lift up and support one another in prayer by regularly praying for one another. * The 1) 2) 3) benefits of corporate prayer It unifies us together in heart, mind, and soul. It keeps us from praying selfishly. It helps us to better discover God's will. By putting the pieces of God's will that we each receive together, we can better understand His overall purpose. 4) The power of our prayer is increased as we come together in agreement.

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V Cornerstone Church

Corporate Prayer

* There are several different ways to pray during a corporate prayer meeting. The leaders should be sensitive so as to direct the meeting according to the Spirit's leading. Some of the ways the Spirit will have you pray are as follows: 1) Intercessory Praise- praise and worship in the context of a prayer meeting (Eph. 5:18-19; Col. 3:16). 2) Individual Corporate Intercession- there are many people in the room, but each person prays by himself; whether audibly or silently (Acts 1:14). 3) Small Group Intercession- as a small group, you take a topic God gives you and pray about it. You then wait silently for God to give you more revelation and after several minutes you all share your revelation. You then pray about the revelation and start the process again. This will refine the accuracy of your prayers. This sometimes includes fasting (Acts 13:1-2). 4) Warfare Praise and Intercession- as a group you praise and pray against the attack of the enemy on a person or church (2 Chron. 20:22; Psalm 8:2 cf. Matt. 221:16; Psalm 149). 5) Prophetic Intercession (Watchman Intercession)- the group asks the Lord to reveal to them the schemes of the enemy so that they may be prepared and do battle (Ezekiel 3:17; 33:7). 6) Burdened Intercession- the group receives specific burdens from the Lord. They pray together for that one specific thing until the burden is lifted (Acts 4:24-31; Acts 12:5-12). 7) Individual Ministry Intercession- while the group is praying certain people may choose to pray together one on one. This may be for one another or for a need (Acts 8:15-17). 8) Laying Hands Ministry Intercession- certain people may have specific needs whether physical (illness) or emotional (bitterness, depression). They may ask for the group to lay hands on them and pray. Anointing with oil is also a very effective tool in this type of ministry (Acts 9:10-21; James 5:14-16). 9) Corporate Repentance Intercession- the group as a whole repents from personal sin and/or the sin of others. There may be fasting involved (Daniel 9:1-19; Joel 1:13-14 1 John 5:16). * Practical Tips for Corporate Prayer 1) Come prepared. This includes confessing your sins and getting in the right mind set before you get to the meeting. 2) Bring a Bible. You never when the Lord will give you a verse. It is also good to have some paper to write down certain things the Lord gives you. 3) Start off the meeting with a time of worship. We must always praise Him first. 4) Pray for a hedge of protection and invite the Lord to come and fill the place. 5) It is good to have periods of silence where you listen to the Lord. Do not feel like you have to be saying something the entire time. 6) When praying out loud with the group, try to pray shorter, more focused prayers.

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V Cornerstone Church

Corporate Prayer

7) Stick to the burden God has given you until it is lifted. It is better if we pray for one thing at a time instead of praying for twenty things in one prayer. This will help us pray in faith and agreement. We should also listen when other people pray because the Holy Spirit might quicken a certain prayer that gives us more insight on how to pray. 8) Be sensitive to the Spirit's leading. If He wants us weeping, we shouldn't be dancing. If He wants us dancing we shouldn't be burdened in intercession. He will lead if we will follow. There is no exact format. Some nights we may worship the entire time, then others we may worship then pray then worship then pray etc. 9) Corporate unity is a higher goal than individual freedom. In other words, if you do things that distract everyone, limit yourself so that all may be in unity. 10) Don't say "Yes Lord" or "Amen" unless you agree with the prayer being offered. 11) Try to pray for all of your personal needs at home. Corporate prayer is designed for interceding for those who need prayer. However, this doesn't mean you can't bring your personal requests and have people pray over you. Just be careful about praying for yourself the entire time. 12) Have a warrior's attitude. If it is hard to press in, please don't leave; keep pressing. Even if you feel sick or tired, keep pressing (obviously there are exceptions here, if you feel too sick then you should go home. Be discerning). * Hindrances to Corporate Prayer 1) Not flowing in the Spirit. For example, too much worship when God wants prayer. 2) Having unconfessed sin in your heart. 3) Lack of personal prayer in our quiet time. Our corporate prayer will be no greater than our personal prayer time. 4) A lack of a true goal or burden. If we don't know what God wants us to pray for, it will be hard to pray effectively. 5) Lack of perseverance and unforgiveness will hinder the meeting. 6) Using your prayer to grind a personal axe. For instance, you pray to God but you really want the people to hear you so that they will get a message from you. For instance, if a teacher is upset because not many people come to his meetings, he might ask God to show the people that they need to come to his meetings. He really wants the people to hear his message and it is doubtful that he is really focusing on God. 7) Trying to put God in a timetable. For instance, if you want to do something after the prayer meeting and you want the prayer meeting to hurry up and end so you can leave.

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