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Corporate Prayer, 1/4/15

The Word of God is very clear on the point that the central focus of the house of God is to be that of prayer:

Isaiah 56:7
Even them I will bring to My holy mountain, And make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices Will be accepted on My altar; For My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations.”

Matthew 21:13
And He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’ ”

Mark 11:17
Then He taught, saying to them, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations’? But you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’ ”

Luke 19:46
saying to them, “It is written, ‘My house is a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’ ”

Not preaching, not teaching, not worship, not prophecy, not healing, NOT religious programs. PRAYER!! Now please understand me. I am not saying that
preaching, teaching, worship, prophecy, and healing are not important. They all have their place in the order and leading of the Spirit. But the scripture is plain that PRAYER is to be the main focus of the activity in the house of God.

But how much prayer do we see in our 'church' meetings these days? Precious little is the answer. This is an indication of  just how badly out of line with the Spirit and Word of God the American church really is. One of the very greatest weapons we have as the church of Jesus Christ is corporate prayer.  Here in America where I live this is a very inadequately understood and practiced tool of spiritual warfare but we need to learn to employ it against the forces of darkness.  Corporate prayer has been little used in the church in America but it needs to become one of the foci of our corporate gatherings and in the The Home Prayer Cell. The scripture is clear that it is part of true church life.  The early church, which the last days church is to surpass, understood and moved in corporate prayer:

Acts 1:14
These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.

Acts 2:42
And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.

Acts 4:31
And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.

Acts 12:5
Peter was therefore kept in prison, but constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church.

Acts 12:12
So, when he had considered this, he came to the house of Mary, the mother of John whose surname was Mark, where many were gathered together praying.

Acts 20:36
And when he had said these things, he knelt down and prayed with them all.

Acts 21:5
When we had come to the end of those days, we departed and went on our way; and they all accompanied us, with wives and children, till we were out of the city. And we knelt down on the shore and prayed.

Addressing them as corporate bodies in his epistles, the Apostle Paul taught his churches to pray corporately, giving them instructions about things to pray in that context:

Philippians 1:19
For I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayer and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ,

Colossians 4:2
Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving;

Colossians 4:3
meanwhile praying also for us, that God would open to us a door for the word, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in chains,

1 Thessalonians 5:17
pray without ceasing,

1 Thessalonians 5:25
Brethren, pray for us.

2 Thessalonians 3:1
Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may run swiftly and be glorified, just as it is with you,

1 Timothy 2:1
Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men,

1 Timothy 2:8
I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting;

Philemon 1:22
But, meanwhile, also prepare a guest room for me, for I trust that through your prayers I shall be granted to you.

Hebrews 13:18
Pray for us; for we are confident that we have a good conscience, in all things desiring to live honorably.

1 Peter 4:7
But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers.

This corporate prayer is not all exclusive of individual or small group prayer, rather we need to learn to employ all the above.  There is great synergistic power in the agreement that is available in corporate prayer.  The principle of this power is clear in scripture:

Ecclesiastes 4:9
Two are better than one, Because they have a good reward for their labor.

Ecclesiastes 4:12
Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

Deuteronomy 32:30
How could one chase a thousand, And two put ten thousand to flight, Unless their Rock had sold them, And the Lord had surrendered them?

One of the best examples we have of the power of corporate prayer is Acts 2 and the account to the arrival of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and the Baptism Of Fire.  The scripture very clearly shows us that it was the corporate group of the 120 faithful disciples of the Lord Jesus coming into agreement(one accord) and seeking God that brought the baptisms:

Acts 1:15-2:4 New King James Version (NKJV)
15 And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples(altogether the number of names was about a hundred and twenty)…

2 When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

We need to learn to take advantage of this power to make war on the enemy in the last days when the warfare will be the greatest it has ever been in the history of earth.

I have personally seen this great weapon employed with incredible power.  I witnessed it in the churches of my spiritual father, a true apostle named Jack Schisler, in South America.  Jack understood, as do all true apostles and True Prophets Of God, that we the church are a part of the Army Of Light and are called to engage in this form of warfare.  It is a truly awesome warfare to behold.  But I have only ever seen this regularly employed in two churches in America in all my life as an American, 47 years.  I am sure there are more but the fact that there are so few is an indictment against us as a church in America and something we need to repent from.  I would love to name the pastors of those churches but I believe I know them well enough to know they would prefer not to be named and I respect it.

We need spiritual leaders to move with God to take advantage of this incredible weapon we have and lead church services and other corporate meetings into corporate prayer.  As we do this the powers of hell will shake and the heavens can open in a way that we are not seeing when we do not do it.

My prayer is that the body of Christ in America will begin to pray in this powerful biblical pattern and I believe that as we do that many awesome miracles will happen.  Let's get together in big corporate gatherings and  Cry Out To God For America and see her return to God and go beyond even the best times we have seen in the past as a nation.

-Steve Pursell, 1/4/15