This morning, I started reading The Assurance of Salvation by Martyn Lloyd-Jones, which is an exposition of John 17, and ran across this paragraph:
“. . . I would argue that our Lord would never have uttered this prayer audibly unless he had intended that we should hear it and that we should be able to study it and, above all, that w should be able to grasp its teaching. He did not merely pray to God, he prayed audibly to God, and the disciples heard him. Thus the prayer was preserved, and it seems to me that in this we have a wonderful illustration of the kindness of our Lord in allowing his disciples to hear this prayer and in arranging that it should be recorded in this way.”
Earlier this week, I wrote about pitfalls in praying which broached the topic of corporate prayer. Having this in mind, what struck me about Dr. Lloyd-Jones’ comment is his emphasis on Jesus praying audibly. He prayed aloud and in the presence of his disciples.
If (since) we are comforted by hearing Jesus pray, it stands to reason that we can also be comforted and a comfort to others through praying together (Tweet this).
It is refreshing to know that someone is praying for you. It is more refreshing to hear him doing it. It is also encouraging to be in agreement with another through prayer. To know that another has the same concern and is also seeking God for intervention is helpful.
Even in giving thanks, hearing what someone else is thankful for is helpful. The expressed gratitude of others challenges my own self focus and ingratitude.
So while there are pitfalls in praying in a corporate setting, it is something that still should be done. The rewards are much greater than the risks.