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Have you ever gotten hungry for a particular kind of food? You may not know why you want it - but for some reason no other kind of food will quite satisfy you. We often joke about a pregnant woman craving pickles or ice cream. She doesn't care if it makes any sense or not. She doesn't care if it's the middle of the night. When that craving hits, get out of her way because she is going to find what she wants!

Sometimes I'm like that spiritually. I start to get hungry for certain things. The Holy Spirit puts a craving on the inside of me for something and I'll start thinking about it. The more I think about it, the more I want it. Eventually, I get desperate and, bless God, I go after it in prayer and faith until I get it.

Recently, I've begun to have that kind of hunger for corporate prayer.

In the past, I've preferred praying by myself or with just a few people. Actually, in my early years in ministry I liked praying by myself so much that when God first asked me to pray with others, I didn't want to do it.

I was afraid that if I got too many people involved in prayer, I'd lose the unction I'd come to enjoy in my personal prayer times. (When I first started to lead corporate prayer at our church years ago, I scheduled our prayer meetings at five o'clock in the morning. I was hoping if we set it that early, nobody would come.)

But something is happening to me these days. I'm craving corporate prayer. In fact, if I could just spend this whole year in corporate prayer meetings, I'd do it.

I know from experience, that's not just some whim of mine. It is an indication that God is moving us in that direction. He is needing us to pray not just by one's or by two's but in whole companies together.

Why? Because there are things God can do through the power of united prayer that He cannot do any other way.

One of the most outstanding examples of united prayer in the New Testatment can be seen in Acts 4. There we find that the religious leaders had threatened Peter and John and commanded them not to preach about Jesus anymore.

When Peter and John returned to their own [company] and told all that the chief priests and elders had said to them, that whole company of believers "lifted their voices together with one united mind to God and said…" (v. 24).

Notice that verse doesn't say that one person spoke out while everyone else sat by silently. It doesn't say they all prayed at once about a hundred different things, either. They didn't have one person praying over here about souls and another person over there praying about their sick grandmother and another person praying for finances for the church.

No, in united prayer, everyone lifts up their voice and prays at once about the same thing. They are all in harmony, praying in the same direction and believing for the same thing.

That doesn't mean, of course, they all say exactly the same words. But they speak with the same heart and heaven hears them as though they were all one voice.

I'm telling you, when that happens, great power is released. The believers in Acts 4 prayed corporately for God to grant His servants boldness to preach and to stretch out His hand to cure and perform signs and wonders. When they were finished the place was shaken with the power of God. And in chapter 5 we see the result.

Not only in the New Testament, but in more recent Church history as well we find corporate prayer preceding great moves of God. Before the outpouring at Azusa street in 1901 there were prayer meetings taking place all over the United States and England.

Twelve years before the revival in Wales through which more then 5 million people were won to the Lord, people began to pray together and cry out for revival. One book says that "churches of all denominations were drawn together by the spirit of God and almost forgot their denominational distinctions. Prayer meetings lasted as long as eight hours, the meetings characterized by unbroken prayer and singing."

Prayer meetings like those don't come just because somebody printed up a brochure and advertised a prayer meeting. They are inspired by the Spirit of God. They take place when God puts the same cry in the hearts of many people and they come together and release that cry to Him.

Bless the Lord, that is what I am hungry for these days. And I believe that just by writing you about it, I can help stir up that hunger in you too. Brother Hagin always says that we have whatever we preach.

When we preach about the new birth, people get born again. When we preach about the baptism of the Holy Ghost, people receive it. When we preach about the gifts of the Spirit, those gifts begin to manifest because people start getting hungry for them.

That's why I'm preaching right now on united prayer. I want to stir up that hunger in myself and in everybody else that will listen to me. So, join me, won't you? Get out your Bible and start reading about the things that have happened down through the ages when God's people gathered together and prayed.

Then, whenever you get the opportunity, get yourself to a prayer meeting! I have no doubt you'll be able to find one because Christians all over the world are getting hungry for corporate prayer. Prayer meetings are springing up in churches everywhere.

Don't miss out. The Spirit of God is moving and I know in my heart that this is the start of something big!

Excerpted from the newsletter Prayer Notes by Lynne Hammond
(Minneapolis: Mac Hammond Ministries) All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Author Biography

Lynne Hammond
Web site: Lynne Hammond Ministries
 
Lynne and her husband, Mac, pastor Living Word Christian Center, a large and growing church in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The desire of Lynne’s heart is to impart principles of corporate and Spirit-led prayer to the Church throughout the world. Under her leadership, the prayer ministry at Living Word has become an internationally recognized model for developing effective pray-ers in the local church. Each week at Living Word, 80 prayer groups led by 85 prayer leaders assemble for the purpose of following the direction of the Holy Spirit in prayer. Last year, more than 10,000 people participated in Chapel Prayer, which meets every morning at Living Word. Approximately 13,000 Internet subscribers through the Global Prayer Alert Network, receive daily prayer summaries from these meetings.
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