Praying with other believers is different than praying alone, and Scripture says it can be more powerful. In Acts 12, Peter had been arrested because he was in jail, and the believers were praying together for his deliverance in the home of Mary, the mother of John Mark. A servant girl named Rhoda heard a knocking on the door, and she saw Peter, who had miraculously escaped prison with the assistance of an angel. This was a direct answer to their prayer, but this servant girl was so shocked that God answered, that she left Peter standing there at the gate. The other believers said she was out of her mind, but they eventually went to check at the gate, and sure enough, Peter was standing there!
Everyone knows the Scripture: “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” Christ Himself says this in Matthew 18:20. James 5:16 says that we must pray for one another, so that we may be healed. This is praying out loud, because we are to confess our sins one to another to pray, and there is no way that we would hear the other person’s confession of their sins if they weren’t saying it out loud. In other words, we are commanded by God to pray aloud for each other, and we are promised to be heard when this happens.
So how is praying with others different than praying alone?
- Praying alone is more personal, and you don’t have to think about other people listening to it.
- You can cry, be angry, or show other emotion in your private prayers that might feel out of place in front of others.
- Other people aren’t distracting you, so it is less likely to be pretentious.
- On the other hand, it’s easier to focus on prayer without your mind drifting when you are praying with another believer.
- Scripture commands both types of prayer, and I’ve sometimes not been able to get rid of a fog, a circumstance, or a sin without somebody else praying for me. In other words, after praying alone, I’m sometimes not released from a struggle that I’m having. This is when we need others to pray for us the most.
Praying with others has benefits that sometimes don’t come when you pray alone. What are some of the benefits of praying with others?
- Other people have different insights than you do, and you can pray more effectively because of this.
- Your shared love for the person you’re praying for deepens your prayer. You might begin to feel empathy where there was no empathy before.
- You can bounce back and forth in your prayers, going deeper into one prayer request.
- Your burden is lifted, and you have more joy. Scripture says that when we pray for each other, we are healed.
- They can keep you accountable for sin.
- You’re not usually as rushed when you pray with others, because you are putting time aside to pray.
- You become aware of people’s prayer requests, and you experience spiritual joy when their prayers are answered through you.
How do you overcome the fear of praying aloud in front of others?
- Realize that it’s a sin to care more about other people’s opinions than God’s. Fear of man brings a snare. (Proverbs 29:25)
- God commands you to pray with others. Not praying with others is disobedience. (James 5:16)
- When you stumble in your prayers in front of others, it is refreshing and sincere. People don’t care as much about that, as about the fact that you cared enough to pray with them.
Here is the prayer audio that will help you as you pray for others:
To listen to more audios on prayer and get a free e-book on prayer, like my Prayer Page.