Is Group Prayer Important?
God has called His people together to pray in community for ages. The Israelites came together for prayer for protection, to seek God’s will, to praise Him, and for other reasons. Similarly, one of the things that characterized the New Testament church was a devotion to prayer (Acts 2:42).
In Acts 4:31, we read, "And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness." This was after Peter and John had been arrested by the Jewish rulers after healing a lame beggar. Many came to Christ and praised God about the miracle and the apostles were released. They went to their friends and shared what had happened. The group of them prayed together, giving God praise, acknowledging the threats of the rulers, and asking God to continue to embolden His people to speak His Word, and that He would heal and perform signs and wonders. This was a group praying together, and God answered their prayer.
In Acts 6 we see how important prayer was to the early church. The apostles chose deacons who would help with the daily distribution to widows saying, "But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word" (Acts. 6:4).
In Acts 12 we see a group of believers gathered together, praying. One of the things they were praying about was the imprisonment of Peter (Acts 12:5). Even they were shocked when God answered their prayers. Peter had been released from prison by an angel and went to the house where he knocked on the door. Rhoda, the servant girl who answered the door, recognized Peter's voice and in her exuberance failed to let him in. The others thought she was mistaken, but Peter continued to knock and they let him in, amazed.
What more do you need to know?
There are numerous commands in the New Testament given about prayer (1 Thessalonians 5:17; Philippians 4:6–7; Ephesians 6:18; James 5:13–18; Hebrews 4:14–16; 10:19–25). Certainly many of these pertain to our private prayer lives, but many are also intended for the church as a whole. We are to develop intimacy with God through private times of prayer, and also enjoy fellowship and seek God corporately through group prayer.
Prayer binds believers together, encouraging each person present by sharing burdens with God, praising Him together, and seeking Him for direction. We learn and are sharpened in our faith when we pray with other believers. Group prayer is one of the ways in which we can carry one another's burdens (Galatians 6:2; James 5:13–18). It is also a way in which we worship God corporately. We come to Him together, as His called-out people, to give Him praise, to seek His will, to confess our sins, and to confess our reliance on Him. All who are children of God through Jesus Christ have the privilege of approaching God in prayer not only alone, but also with brothers and sisters in Christ.