Where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them. Matthew 18:20
by U.S. Senate Chaplain Barry C. Black, author of Make Your Voice Heard in Heaven
While many people prefer to pray in solitude, sometimes praying with a partner can bring fresh power to our prayers, energizing our intercession.
Even Jesus himself suggested that this strategy brings exceptional power. He said, “If two of you agree here on earth concerning anything you ask, my Father in heaven will do it for you. For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them.”1
What does this amazing promise mean? It obviously doesn’t mean that we will receive our request every time, no matter what we pray with a partner. For example, we know that James and John, the sons of Zebedee came to Jesus in agreement and asked him to allow them to sit on his right and his left in the coming Kingdom.2 But Jesus responded, “You don’t know what you are asking!”3 In order for Matthew 18:19 to be taken literally and without qualification, we would have to ignore the fact that two or three people have agreed to pray on many occasions and yet their prayers were not answered the way they expected.
Whenever we pray—alone or with others—we must desire the answer that God, in his wisdom and love, knows best. The power of praying with one or two others lies in our corporate ability to discern God’s will. When we pray with others who also are submitting themselves to the will of God, we’re less likely to be deceived or to pray foolishly. Praying with a partner positions us to experience God’s greater wisdom and love as he choreographs our destinies with his loving providence.
Another reason why we should pray with a partner is to protect our prayers from selfishness. When Jesus taught his disciples to pray, he repeatedly used plural pronouns. This prayer is about us, not about me or you as individuals. Praying with a partner leads us down an unselfish path, helping to purge our prayers of self-centeredness.
We also should pray with a partner because Jesus is as much present with two people as he is with a very large congregation. In other words, we don’t need an entire church praying in order for us to pray with power, making our voices heard in heaven. Jesus Christ, the greatest intercessor, joins in the prayer experience wherever two or three are gathered in his name.4 In Acts 12, a small group of believers were praying in the home of Mary, and their prayers were powerful enough to get God to send an angel to rescue Peter from prison and certain death. It is this power that is available to people of faith whether their prayer group is large or small.
We should pray with a partner because it brings unity of mind, spirit, and purpose among believers. What could be more unifying than finding common ground with another believer, possessing the same mind and voicing the same concerns? Here’s how Acts 2:1 (nkjv) describes the experience: “When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.” These people, who were the recipients of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost, were united in their prayers, and it brought power and results.
Finally, we should pray with a partner because partners can bless and cheer one another. In Luke 10, Jesus sends his disciples out two by two, intending for them to bless and cheer one another. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 describes the blessings that can come from partnering with others:
Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.
What wonderful blessings are available in partnerships! Paul and Silas discovered these blessings. David and Jonathan discovered these blessings. Release God’s power by praying with a partner, making your voices heard in heaven.
See Mark 10:35-37
See Matthew 18:20
Make Your Voice Heard in Heaven by Barry C. Black
Now more than ever, we are fighting for our voices to be heard on earth. We march, we tweet, we advocate on behalf of the voiceless, calling those in power to listen and come alongside us.
Sometimes it feels as if we’re never going to be heard and nothing will ever change.
Known for his powerful prayers, Chaplain Black challenges us, individually and collectively, to make ourselves heard in a way that really changes things—by calling upon the one who holds ultimate power. Through personal story and practical insight, Make Your Voice Heard in Heaven helps us learn to pray in a way that releases God’s power and unleashes His blessing.