In his book, Lectures on Revivals of Religion, Charles Finney (sorry, not an independent Baptist!) gives 5 key ingredients to praying effectively in prayer with others. This includes prayer meetings, in church service, and praying for missionaries; any sized group, even down to “two.”
“Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 18:19
Many may be tempted to think that God is incapable of hearing prayer because they have prayed over some things for years and yet do not see anything happen. The fault is not with God; they just may lack one or all of these five conditions. They are simple but powerful conditions that can change any prayer group for the better if applied. May every Christian understand these and thereafter pray correctly!
1. We should agree in our desires for the object
People praying together must desire the same thing to happen. This should be an inward desire of the heart. Often, however, individuals pray in words for the same thing when they are by no means agreed in desiring the object of prayer. Some may even inwardly desire the opposite and are only praying verbally though not necessarily desiring for it inwardly with their heart. Do you truly desire for Serbians and other nations of the world to be saved?
2. We must agree on the motive for which we desire the object
It is good to be unitedly desiring the object of prayer but the reason why must be the same. Someone may be desiring, like us, for Serbians to be saved and churches to be planted here for God’s glory and for the sake of their souls. However, someone else may be desiring the same thing but for a different reason, such as that there would be peace and no violence in the country, and that the country would be more respectable. Some may even desire it just so it may help us out as missionaries.
3. We must be agreed in desiring it for good reasons
We ought not just to have united desires, from the same motive, but we ought to desire it for good motives. God will not answer the prayers if the motives are not good, no matter how long and hard and unitedly we pray. He delights in right, proper, and good motives. The supreme motive of all in prayer must be to honor and glorify God, “Whether therefore ye eat or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31
4. If we would be so united as to prevail in prayer, we must agree in faith
It is one thing to desire it and desire it right, but do you expect it? In this, we must concur in expecting the blessing prayed for. We must be united in faith. However, it cannot be unfounded faith. It must be founded on His promises in the Word of God. When we are sure it qualifies under one of His promises, “give him no rest, till he establish, and till he make(s)” it happen! Isaiah 62:7
5. We must be agreed as to the time we desire the blessing to come
The last key in this is the timing. Some may pray for Serbians to be saved NOW, to come to God NOW, that churches be started NOW, and yet some pray that it will happen at some time, that is, sometimes indefinite. Indefinite prayers show you do not really care to see what you are praying for happen.
By following these simple conditions the prayers of a group will be in harmony with each other and not sound like a bunch of racket to God. God can then answer the prayers and there is nothing like the multiplied power of people praying together for something with all these keys in place! How about applying this right away? Please pray unitedly for us here in Serbia! We are DEPENDENT on your prayers!!! Please let us know if you are joining with us in praying unitedly for the salvation of Serbians and the planting of churches here for the glory of God and the sake of souls!
by Danny Foss