The Power of United Prayer
Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them. —Matthew 18:18-20
The elements of true, united prayer are given to us in these words of our Lord. The first is agreement as to the thing asked. It isn’t enough to generally consent to agree with anything another may ask. The object prayed for must be some special thing, a matter of distinct, united desire. The agreement must be, as in all prayer, in spirit and in truth. In such agreement exactly what we are asking for becomes very clear. We find out whether we are ready to believe that we have received it.
The second element is the gathering in the name of Jesus. Here our Lord teaches us that His name must be the center and the bond of the union that makes them one, just as a home contains and unites all who are in it. “The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe” (Prov. 18:10, KJV).
That name is such a reality to those who understand and believe in it, that to meet within it is to have Him present. Jesus is powerfully attracted by the love and unity of His disciples: “Where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” The presence of Jesus, alive in the fellowship of His loving, praying disciples, gives united prayer its power.
The third element is the sure answer: “It shall be done for them of my Father.” Although a prayer meeting for maintaining religious fellowship, or for our own edification, may have its use, this was not the Savior’s reason for recommending it. He meant it as a means of securing special answer to prayer. A prayer meeting without recognized answer to prayer ought to be the exception to the rule. When we feel too weak to exercise the faith necessary to attain a distinct desire we ought to seek strength in the help of another. In the unity of faith, love, and the Spirit, the power of the name and of the presence of Jesus acts more freely, and the answer comes more surely. The evidence that there has been true, united prayer is the fruit—the answer, the receiving of the thing for which we have asked. “I say unto you . . . it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.” What an extraordinary privilege united prayer is! What a potential power it has! —Andrew Murray
· What does it mean to be gathered in His name?
· Have I ever prayed in complete unity with another? What was the outcome? How did I respond?
Prayer – Heavenly Father, You ask so earnestly for the unity of Your people. Teach me how to encourage unity with Your precious promise regarding united prayer. Show me what it looks like to join with other believers in love and desire, so that Your presence is in our faith as we give You our requests. In Jesus’ name, Amen.