Why Christians pray together, not just in private

Brenna McCormick

I vividly remember the first time someone asked me to pray out loud in a large group. I was terrified. A million thoughts and questions ran through my head. 

What if I said something stupid? 

What if I didn’t do it right, and God couldn’t hear me? I’m not a pastor, after all. 

Isn’t prayer supposed to be a personal thing between me and God alone?

I shakily made it through the prayer reciting every churchy phrase I could remember hearing wiser, more qualified people say. It wasn’t until many years later that I realized the truth about prayer: Prayer is a gift, and everyone is qualified to use it. 

Prayer is a gift everyone is qualified to use.

Our relationships with God are much like the relationships we have with our friends and family members. In order for a relationship to grow, it must be cultivated through conversation and time spent together. Prayer is one of the tools God provides us to communicate with Him and cultivate our relationship with Him. 

Do I Have to Pray in Public?

When Christians pray where other people can hear or see, it's public prayer. Many Christians in the Bible, including Jesus, prayed publicly. Public prayer is a powerful opportunity to communicate with God, and there are times when we may feel prompted to pray out loud or in a public space. For example to encourage a friend or to seek God’s guidance as a team. 

Praying out loud, in front of other people isn’t something we need to be afraid of or shy away from. But whenever there are other people involved, there will always be the temptation to show off. Knowing this, Jesus gave us some important guidelines to keep in mind: 

“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others…And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words” (Matthew 6:5-7).  

Public prayers should be authentic, real, and from the heart. Our prayers are to be God-focused, not an attempt to convince people of our righteousness. After all, even public prayers are for the primary purpose of speaking to God, not men. 

Then Why Is Corporate Prayer Such a Big Deal?

When Christians pray together as a church, it is called corporate prayer. The phrase “corporate prayer” sounds official, but if you’ve been coming to NewSpring for any length of time, you’ve already participated in corporate prayer. 

We pray together a lot on Sundays, and hopefully, your group prays together, too. We think this is important for a few reasons: 

  • Corporate prayer unifies us as a body of believers. 

In John 17:22-23, Jesus prays, “I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one—I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity.” Praying together, as a group of believers, helps bring the unity that Christ prayed for. 

  • Corporate prayer allows us to encourage and support other believers. 

1 Thessalonians 5:11 says, “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” By praying together for common needs, struggles, and times of celebration, we are able to encourage the other believers in our lives and motivate one another on to love and good deeds. 

  • Corporate prayer is not more powerful than any other type of prayer. 

Jesus is present whenever and however someone prays, whether that be a large group, an individual, out loud or in silence. Remember, prayer isn’t meant to bend God to our will. Prayer is how we ask for, cooperate with, and rejoice in God’s plan. The “power” in corporate prayer is in its ability to unify us around God’s will, not get things from God. 

So should you pray out loud or silently? Ultimately, as Christians, we have the freedom to pray however the Holy Spirit leads us

God wants to hear our fears, our confusion, our celebrations, and we can speak to Him simply, candidly, and honestly. God hears all prayers, whether we say them out loud or speak them in our minds. Both are biblical, and both are powerful. 

Related Content

to Discover More

Article

Disability in the church: Givers or takers?

community church children hospitality friendship

Disabled, differently-abled, handicapped, special needs. Even though I have a child who fits these ... read more

Read Article

Article

Everything You Need To Know About 1 Corinthians

community church bible bible need to know

Context makes a difference in conversation, but also when we read the Bible. That's why we created Bible ... read more

Read Article

Article

Why it's good to pray for the church, not just your church

church relationships prayer

Have you ever watched a team self-destruct? It’s painful to witness. When teammates stop working togeth... read more

Read Article

Article

Four reasons Christians need the church

community church serving

A few weeks after high school graduation and shortly before leaving for college, my dad came home with a 1995... read more

Read Article

Article

Four ways the church is like a big family

family community church relationships

My dad’s side of the family is pretty close. We eat a big family meal at Thanksgiving and take a vacati... read more

Read Article

Sermon

Born to Worship

From So Will I

Nov 19, 2018

community church worship purpose

Jesus didn’t die so we could worship for 75 minutes a week at church. We are made to worship as we gath... read more

Watch Sermon

Sermon

Exalt His Name Together

From So Will I

Nov 12, 2018

community church worship

Do you want to experience Jesus to the full? In this message, Blake Goss explains why our vision of God expan... read more

Watch Sermon

Sermon

Five Touches

From Gathering

Aug 27, 2018

healing community church holy spirit

In a special panel discussion, Brad Cooper, Dan Lian, and Clayton King use five fingers and scriptures about ... read more

Watch Sermon

Sermon

The Wedding

From Gathering

Aug 20, 2018

community marriage church jesus

Jesus calls us, the church, His bride. It's a way to picture the unique way we belong to Him and are bond... read more

Watch Sermon

News

If there’s one thing you need to do this year, it’s Connect

Jan 9, 2017

community church jesus relationships

Sign up for a unique and fun experience designed to help you get more out of life.

Read News

Story

Love changed everything for my Wiccan dad

May 15, 2018

evangelism community forgiveness prayer health reconciliation groups

Jennie White’s decades of prayer for her cancer-stricken dad led to salvation — and reconciliatio... read more

Read Story

Sermon

How to Stay Activated

From Activated

May 26, 2019

community church relationships following jesus

Do you have a "they"? In this message, our Anderson Campus Pastor, Riley Cummings, shares what it looks like... read more

Watch Sermon

What's happening at NewSpring Church?

  • Need to Know: Weekly email to keep you informed about what's happening at NewSpring
  • Fuse News: Email for Fuse parents sent on the first Monday of the month
  • KidSpring Scoop: Email sent at the beginning of each series to give you the scoop on what's happening in KidSpring
  • Read My Bible: Daily devotional sent via text from 6-7am

Subscribe