Five reasons why you should pray with others [1]

“Our Father in heaven…Give us…Forgive us…Lead us…Deliver us” (Matthew 6:9, 11, 12, 13).

Have you ever noticed the corporate nature of the Lord’s Prayer before? When Jesus teaches His disciples to pray He doesn’t say “My Father” but “Our Father”. Throughout the prayer all the requests are plural too – not “Give me” but “Give us”. When Jesus teaches us to pray He says we should pray with others.

This was a hallmark of the early church. “They all joined together constantly in prayer” (Acts 1:14). But why is praying together so important? Here are five suggestions:

Firstly, there is added power in corporate prayer. Matthew 18:19-20 is a passage primarily about agreement over church discipline. However Jesus does say, “if you agree about anything”, implying that the truths of this passage are bigger than just church discipline. Namely, that there is added power in joining with others in Jesus name.

Secondly, praying together fosters unity. You must be of one mind if you are to ask Him together for something, hence fostering single-mindedness.

Thirdly praying with others teaches us how to pray. As we hear the prayers of others we learn the kinds of things that we might pray for and the manner in which to pray. To listen to an older Christian brother or sister who has spent years in prayer before God is a wonderful blessing, and a great opportunity to learn!

Fourthly praying with others means that you can be blessed and encouraged by the way that God answers the prayers of others. By praying with others we open up the possibility of seeing more ways that God is at work in the world in many lives, not just our own.

Finally praying with others can help us know Jesus better. C.S. Lewis wrote that in order to understand his friends better he needed other friends to help him do that. “By myself I am not large enough to call the whole man into activity; I want other lights than my own to show all his facets”. As Tim Keller writes, “If it takes a community to know an ordinary human being, how much more necessary would it be to get to know Jesus alongside others?” [2]

So don’t make prayer a solo activity. There is a time and a place to pray on your own. But if you never pray with others you are missing out. “When we share the joy of prayer, we increase our joy in prayer.” [3] Join with others to pray, especially to pray about your work.


[1] This article draws heavily on David Mathis’ excellent piece “Nine profits of praying with company”, desiringgod.org.

[2] Tim Keller, Prayer: Experiencing awe and intimacy with God, 119.

[3] David Mathis, “Nine profits of praying with company”, desiringgod.org.