Tuesday, December 16, 2008

joining with the others in prayer

I have noticed at certain times what I sense as a power in joining with other Christians in prayer for a certain person, issue or petition. It seems to please the Lord when we Christians join together for prayer, and the Lord gives us a sense of that pleasure or of his presence.

Of course this doesn't mean one can't pray with the help of the Spirit in power for someone or something, on their own. Nor does it mean that praying with other believers doesn't oftentimes involve struggle and feeling dry. I am thinking of occasions in which probably the Spirit has put it on the hearts of God's people to pray. Or when perhaps God is pleased because his people are uniting together in prayer for a common and good cause before him. These simple prayers of petition and of seeking to pray in the Spirit are then helped by the Spirit, and go up like an incense to God. To be answered in due season, that is, in God's time and in God's way.

This then takes us to just how the prayers are answered. There was a man at Prairie Bible Institute in Alberta, Canada, named Gordon. As I recall, he was at least a wealthy enough man, and was stricken with a rare disease which confined him, he could no longer walk. Gordon was an inspirational man to meet, and a man of prayer. He had it on his heart to pray for a mighty revival in Canada, a pouring out of the Spirit. I believe others in Canada at that time had it on their hearts to be praying in the same way.

I remember that the elders of the church there came together, surely at Gordon's request to anoint him with oil and pray over him for healing. They had unusual faith and power with God, and it just seemed certain that their prayers for Gordon's miraculous healing would be answered. But the Lord answered not long after, by taking Gordon "home" to be with the Lord. This was in the early 1980's.

The Toronto Blessing came in 1994 which I believe was a move of God, in spite of all the problems and faults among the believers in the midst of it. And the Spirit surely moved in other ways and places in Canada, including in our school, nothing new, actually, for it. I have nothing but profound respect for our (Deb and I's) old school Prairie Bible Institute, because of God's work there, a place from which many have went on to serve the Lord all over the world. I believe it's even better now than when we went.

To get in on a move of God, or what God is doing, we need to find out what God is evidently putting on the hearts of others. And even if it doesn't seem much on your heart at all, join in. I think you'll find that you're joining into something more than a human venture. Then look for God's answer, maybe not in ways asked or imagined.

What would you like to add to this?

10 comments:

L.L. Barkat said...

Prayer is one of those things I used to think I knew how to do... now I spend a lot of time listening and wondering instead of speaking.

NaNcY said...

sounds like a beautiful place to go to school.

what did you and deb study there?

your words on prayer are very interesting. i like to hear of others stories of their experiences in prayer relationship with God.

i like the part about the Holy Spirit putting certain things on people's heart and then the people taking the step to pray about it.

Every Square Inch said...

Ted - thanks for the post...why do you think joining others in prayer together seem to have particular power or effectiveness?

Ted M. Gossard said...

L.L.,
Surely because you're entering more into real prayer which has plenty of mystery in it.

Of course I can just simply pray, but to really enter into all that prayer is involves a work of God, and any work of God has wonder to it.

The listening part. I have plenty of room to grow on that, though I think the Lord is helping me listen better.

Prayer is certainly a God-thing, or you might say a God and us thing as well, a cooperative venture- both.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Nancy,
It's quite beautiful there. I simply love the rolling prairies, and the mountains are not that far away- simply beautiful.

I studied theology, got a degree in that. Deb studied religious education, I believe- I ought to know. Of course a lot of Bible in all their education. But the school is even better now, particularly on their regs as far as guys and gals dating go, but important also- the transition they made for the world as it now is. Quite competent there then and now- they were making the changes when we were there. I wish I could be there for awhile just to see how it is now, firsthand, but it looks and sounds wonderful to me. And looks like the mantle was passed on quite well.

Amen to what you say on prayer, Nancy. I like to hear such stories as well.

Ted M. Gossard said...

ESI,
Thanks. Because God values so much the unity of his people, and especially so as they endeavor to join together in God's work in the world. And no greater place than in prayer.

I think it's evident in Scripture time and time again that the Lord is pleased in this way, and that such prayers together are powerful in that God is somehow in them, or will answer them according to his will.

NaNcY said...

sorry to get away from the prayer subject...but, i was wondering if my questions on the Holy Spirit are right on...then i think maybe i try too hard...well, on a lot of things. i am not sure how to put these thoughts into words.

preacherman said...

You Ted make an excellant point in this post. I believe that there is power in prayer especially for the same need, event, person, etc. I am living proof of the power of community of prayer.

I believe that prayer for many believers lacks in day to day life as many get too busy or say they think.

We as Christians need to remember that Christianity when it boils down to it is about having a relationship with God. Pray is essential in forming, developing and deepening that relationship. When prayer lacks than our relationship suffers.

I want to thank you for this wonderful post. May we as bloggers pray for one another. May we pray daily. I will join you brother. I hope you and your family feel the power of prayer in your life this week.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Nancy,
I feel the same way. It's hard to put it down in words, and words really fall short of the reality. Plus we want to reflect accurately on things and not mislead others, or even ourselves.

God helps us along the way, of course. Yes, I like your questions.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Thanks, Kinney. I concur with all you say here. It's especially wonderful when we're united together before our God in prayer. Thanks much! And hope you're feeling better. Good to hear your move has gone alright.