Does it make a difference?
Does a person need to be engaged in dynamic corporate prayer? What is the value of dynamic corporate prayer? What difference does it make?
People will not engage in corporate prayer if they see no value in it. Here is an abbreviation of what I wrote on the value of corporate prayer in question 1.7 of United and Ignited: Encountering God through Dynamic Corporate Prayer.
There are several things that happen in a time of corporate prayer that can’t or don’t happen in a personal time of prayer.
I can get to know God more as I hear people pray who have a different personality, background, or theological perspective. In Ephesians 1, Paul says that a reason why he is praying for the Ephesian saints is, “so that they would know Him better.” This is a key reason to pray.
I can hear the heart of another believer better when I hear them speaking to their Father rather than when they are just speaking to me. In a safe environment, people speak more openly and deeply when they pray than when they speak to another.
It allows a group to worship together, listen together, make common requests, and rejoice together in His answers. I am not simply speaking of singing together. I am speaking about the sense of awe that a group can experience when they are together considering some aspect of God’s great and wonderful nature.
It gives people an opportunity to ask and hear together.
It enhances my own individual prayers because I can pray off of the prayers of others and they can do the same with mine. As we listen to the prayers of others, there are many times when one person’s prayers spark a thought in another person.
It allows me to agree with another prayer. Another important truth from Matthew 18:19 is the power of agreement. Saying “Amen” should be much more than the signal that my prayer is over or that what has just been prayed is one of my favorite topics. The word “Amen” is a means of communicating my receptivity to what I have just heard.
It makes good use of spiritual gifts. It is clear that whatever one’s view of spiritual gifts may be, they seem to function best in a group setting. They are designed to build one another up. As we are praying with others in a group setting, we have opportunity to receive from the use of other people’s gifts as well as express ours.
The transparency of one person in prayer can affect many others. In extended times of prayer, it is very common for one person to share a deep need or conviction over sin and others respond. When one person leads out it gives not only permission but also encouragement for others to respond to the Lord.
So, does a person need to be involved in corporate prayer? No, but if they don’t, there are many benefits they will miss out on which can cause them to grow more in their relationship with God as well as with others.