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Prayer Out of Balance

Author: Pastor Robin Tyner

It seems over the years the church in America has wandered far away from the priority of prayer, and especially corporate prayer. If someone were to ask, “Which is more important – private prayer or corporate prayer?” I would tell them, “Yes!” Both are essential. It’s like asking which leg is more important for walking. Both the right and left leg are absolutely essential.

In my own prayer journey, I’ve found that private prayer has brought depth and insight into my corporate prayer experience. Spending time praying with people motivates me to continue having private time with the Lord. It’s hard to imagine living a vibrant Christian life without a regular weekly dose of both. When we neglect praying with other people we’re robbing ourselves of great blessing. In a sense, we’re trying to hop on one leg which is both hard and tiring.

To use a sports analogy, many people think prayer is more an individual sport than a team sport.

In our western culture we believe it’s more important to pray alone than with others. Maybe it’s because our culture stresses rugged individualism. But the reality is when it comes to our faith, there are certain activities we experience best in community like worship, communion, baptism, and prayer.

Most Christians own their personal copy of the Bible. That’s a good thing because it helps increase our knowledge of Scripture through private study and personal devotions. Unfortunately, it fuels our individualistic approach to the Christian life which can put prayer out of balance. I remember as a young believer I struggled how and what to pray. It wasn’t until I began praying in community with other mature believers that I discovered more about prayer. Hearing them pray was life-changing for me. That’s why prayer is a vital aspect of discipleship, and corporate prayer is indispensable as part of that process.

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