What Happens When Your Group Prays

By Zack DeBerry

The last few weeks at Journey we have been talking about Prayer in the context of “what to do when we don’t know what to do.” We all have those moments in life where life hands us more than we think we can handle. Whether that is a family situation, job situation, life situation, whatever it may be, there are moments we all face that create this tension in our lives when we don’t know where to turn or what to do. It’s in those moments where we have this amazing invitation as followers of Christ to engage in conversation with God.

Prayer really is a conversation with God, and as we converse and commune with Him, we must understand that we have access to God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit as we pray. Not only do we have access to the trinity, but they are working to intercede and empower as we engage in this conversation. That is an amazing gift that God has given us as followers of Christ. Not only do we have access to the God head, but God gives us other believers as a community called the church that join with us as we engage in this conversation with God.

At Journey we call this community Life Groups and it is our belief that as we walk through life and face the various challenges we encounter, this small group of people that God gives us partners with us as we pray and seek God’s will in our life. There are some incredible benefits when we join with others in Prayer. Here are just 3 great things that happen when we join with our Group in Prayer.

1. More Power

In Matthew 18 Jesus begins a discussion about how to deal with other believers, and at the end of this discussion he talks about the power that can come from joining together with other believers in Prayer. In Matthew 18:18-20 Jesus states this:

18“I tell you the truth, whatever you forbid on earth will be forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven.
19“I also tell you this: If two of you agree here on earth concerning anything you ask, my Father in heaven will do it for you. 20For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them.”

What Jesus is saying is that when we have troubles and take the time to Pray with other believers we have access to incredible power.

2. God gets More Fame

When we partner with others in prayer we get the incredible opportunity to see God’s glory displayed as He works in our lives. When we see God at work we are able to see God get more glory and fame in other’s lives. Paul shares an incredible story of how by having other believers praying with him in his ministry, God was able to get incredible glory. 2 Corinthians 1:8-11 has this to say:

8″We think you ought to know, dear brothers and sisters, about the trouble we went through in the province of Asia. We were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it. 9In fact, we expected to die. But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God, who raises the dead. 10And he did rescue us from mortal danger, and he will rescue us again. We have placed our confidence in him, and he will continue to rescue us. 11And you are helping us by praying for us. Then many people will give thanks because God has graciously answered so many prayers for our safety.”

What an incredible thing it is to share in the burdens of others in prayer and to celebrate as God shows up in their lives.

3. It Unites His Church

Lastly, when we Pray with other believers we are able to see what God promised in His church- Unity and togetherness. It is an amazing thing to practice unity in our lives with other believers, and prayer with others is one area where this unity can be seen. In Acts, we see the first accounts of God’s Church, and early in this account we see the power of unity in prayer on display. In Acts 1 we read this about the early church:

14They all met together and were constantly united in prayer, along with Mary the mother of Jesus, several other women, and the brothers of Jesus.

Then later as the church continues to grow, we read this in Acts 2:

42All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer.

It was no secret that Unity and Prayer were an essential part to the incredible growth that the early church experienced. That same opportunity is ours when we partner with other believers in prayer.

The beauty of Life Groups is that you always have someone you can count on to join with you in prayer during the tough times of life, whatever they may be. When we join with others in Prayer we have the great gifts of added power to our prayer and the incredible opportunity to see God glorified as we unite in common purpose in prayer.

Weekend Preview | Read Your Bible: James – Part 2

By Don Gentry

Is your faith like that of a demon?

I hope the title got your attention. We are going through the book of James, and he has the heart of a pastor or some would even say a prophet. He is writing to a church that is scattered all over the place. They are being persecuted. They are dying. There are false teachers leading some astray. Some are leaving the faith, and worse yet, many are not living like followers of Christ. The early church had a problem.

The book of James delivers some pretty hard hitting teachings that continue to be difficult 2000 years later for those of us who say we love Jesus. I love how James doesn’t confuse his words.

James 2:18-­20 (NIV2011)
18 But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. 19 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.

I am not sure if you caught the significance, but the first audience would have felt this line of questioning like a slap across the face.

You say you believe in Jesus… good job, the demons believe in him too. James says that when the demons hear his name they shudder, but what do you do?? If Jesus hasn’t changed you, then your faith is useless and comparable to that of a demon.  

That stings!! James, why don’t you tell us how you really feel?!

Come on out on this Sunday and test whether or not your faith is any better than that of the demons. Hope to see you soon!