Praying Like Jesus Series #2

Jesus Prayed In Community


As a pastor I can tell you not everyone is comfortable praying aloud and in public. If you find that you cannot pray out loud and in public this does not diminish you as a Christian. It is difficult to pray publicly. One of the hazards of public prayer is to become puffed up with pride in your praying. Jesus warned against being puffed up. Let’s read this text responsively to start:

Matthew 6:5-6 (KJV)  And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.  [6]  But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

Sunday when we have more time we’ll discuss the prayer closet. Tonight I want to talk about community prayer.

Whether you pray out loud in public or not, every Christian is called to pray in community.

We are one of the few Churches in our Association that still have a Wednesday night prayer service. Many Churches have stopped this practice because so few are in attendance. Other Churches have replaced the Wednesday night prayer service with inter-Church sporting events. I think this is a very bad trend that every Church needs to stop. Why? Because …

Jesus Believed In Community Prayer

Jesus believed in community prayer. There were times when Jesus prayed alone.

Luke 9:18 (KJV) And it came to pass, as {Jesus} was alone praying ….

There were times when Jesus prayed in the presence of others. For instance, we read:

Luke 11:1 (KJV) And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.

There Were Other Times When Jesus Got Together With Others To Pray. This Is What We Call
Community Prayer.

Luke 9:28 (KJV) And it came to pass about an eight days after these sayings, {Jesus} took Peter and John and James, and went up into a mountain to pray.

Jesus taught His disciples how to pray together because they would one day have to work as a team. The Lord often took Peter, James and John with Him when He prayed.

  • Peter needed to be taught community prayer because he would lead the Apostles.
  • James needed to be taught community prayer because he would oversee the highly influential Church of Jerusalem.
  • John needed to be taught community prayer because he would write the bulk of the New Testament.

Community Prayer Ignites And Unites The Church

A man came up to Jesus one day and asked: “Master, what is the great commandment in the Law?”. Jesus replied:

Matthew 22:37-40 (KJV) Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

This is the center of our faith. We are to love God passionately, and love one another passionately. When love is our driving force then His Kingdom is built. Our Lord Jesus said “love the Lord your God with ALL”. All of our passion is to be poured into Him.

When the passion of the Church dies or is misdirected, the mission of the Church goes undone. We pray together to share our passion with one another.

Just as a small spark will ignite the tinder which will lead to a blaze, we who are Christians pray together to share our love for the Lord and to grow in our zeal. Our Lord Jesus told His disciples after His resurrection:

Acts 1:4-5 (KJV) they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. 5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.

How did the disciples respond? The Bible says:


While they waited, they prayed. If we want to be a force that God uses we need to pray while we WAIT ON HIM!

  • Community Prayer binds a Church together. The Bible tells us that the Church is a group of believers bound to one another by a common faith and an uncommon God.

It is the UNIFIED Church
that is the Body of Christ!

1 Corinthians 12:12-14 (KJV) For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. 13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. 14 For the body is not one member, but many.

Every member in the Body of Christ, the Church, is important to God. Every member has a spiritual gift that he or she must discover an exercise. God did not design the Christian to walk alone through this life, but we are called of God to work together as a team. Again, we see this happened in the early Church. The Bible tells us:

Acts 2:1 (KJV) … when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.

All one hundred and twenty disciples were praying in one accord in the Upper Room when God manifested His power.

Once God moved on the Church we read that the disciples – with Peter leading – went out into the streets of Jerusalem and began proclaiming the Gospel. What was the result of this unity in prayer? The Bible says:

Acts 2:41 (KJV) … and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.

If we want to have an impact on our community we need to learn to pray together.

  • Community Prayer shares burdens so as to make them bearable.

1 Corinthians 12:25-27 (KJV) That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. 26 And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honored, all the members rejoice with it. 27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.

If we are members of the same body then we should be concerned when our fellow believers suffer. We are, after all, in this together. The Lord commands that we pray together so that we can share our burdens. James said:

James 5:13-14 (KJV) Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms. 14 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:

When a member is suffering he should want the other believers to lift him up to God in prayer. Note that James speaks of “calling the elders of the Church” for specific prayer. Those who are “elders” are mature in their faith. Last Sunday night we called the elders of the Church forward to pray for two grieving mothers. Elder believers should set the tone in the prayer meeting. King Solomon spoke of the blessing of sharing burdens when he said:

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (KJV) Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labor. 10 For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up. 11 Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone? 12 And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

When we stand together in prayer we lift one another up, and bless the Lord, for we who believe are all of His Family.

  • Community Prayer helps resolve conflicts and reveal sin. The Bible tells us that unresolved conflict can hurt us. The Scripture says:

Job 5:2 (KJV) For wrath killeth the foolish man, and envy slayeth the silly one.

The Scripture tells us that the first thing we are supposed to do when we come to God in Community Prayer is forgive one another. We read:

Mark 11:25-26 (KJV) And when ye STAND praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. 26 But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.

Highlight the words “STAND praying”. This is only something the Jew would do if he was praying publicly. When we come together in Community Prayer the Lord commands that we first forgive, the pray. Again, we who believe are One Body in Christ.

A bitter an unforgiving spirit is a poison in the Body of Christ that will destroy it if it is not addressed.

How Often Did Judas Iscariot Pray?

I did a search to see if I could find out how often Judas Iscariot prayed. The Bible says that Jesus chose him just as He chose the other disciples (Mark 3:14,19; Matthew 26:14). What do we see Judas doing in the Church of Christ? Absolutely nothing! Judas criticized and found fault. When Mary anointed the feet of Jesus with an ointment Judas fussed:

John 12:5-6 (KJV) Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor? 6 This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein.

Judas skipped every Wednesday night prayer meeting Jesus had. He was too busy to pray. He had too much else much better to do.

When we pray publicly we are forced to examine our lives and ask ourselves, “Am I where the Lord wants me to be?” If not, the Community Prayer will lead us closer to the Lord and away from the Spirit of Iscariot.

“Prayer will make a man cease from sin, or sin will entice a man to cease from prayer.” Pastor John Bunyon

  • Community Prayer encourages us to keep on going forward for our Lord. When we come together as a community and pray, we provoke one another to love and good deeds:

Hebrews 10:24-25 (KJV) And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: 25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

Those who are the least effective and the most trouble in any local Church are those who will not come together in prayer with their brothers and sisters.

Evangelist Greg Laurie interviewed a young woman who had been on the television show Survivor. This woman was a Christian. She was told that she could bring five things to the island with her. The lady said, “I want to bring my Bible”, but was told that she couldn’t do that because someone else was bringing a Bible. This young lady went to the island without her Bible and found out that contrary to what she had been told, no one had a Bible, and there were no practicing Christians on the island. As each day passed this Christian began to be like the others on that island. Her language changed, her character changed, and in time she became quite hateful, jealous, and spiteful. She told Greg, “I didn’t realize how weak I really was”.

  • Community prayer releases the power of God. Jesus told us:

Matthew 18:19-20 (KJV) 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. 20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

God hears the united prayers of Christians. We need one another, Christians. We need to lift one another up in prayer as we meet together. We need to encourage one another. Nothing blesses me more than, as the Pastor, to hear someone praying for me and my wife. Jesus said:

Mark 11:17 (KJV) My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer …

“…Men may spurn our appeals, reject our message, oppose our arguments, despise our persons — but they are helpless against our prayers.” Pastor Sidlow Baxter

That which should distinguish a Church is that it is a house of prayer. God bless you all for being here tonight. God help us to faithfully pray together for His glory and honor!


About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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