A Theology Of Corporate Prayer: Preaching, Prayer Meetings, And You -- By: Ryan M. McGraw

Journal: Puritan Reformed Journal
Volume: PRJ 04:2 (Jul 2012)
Article: A Theology Of Corporate Prayer: Preaching, Prayer Meetings, And You
Author: Ryan M. McGraw

A Theology Of Corporate Prayer:
Preaching, Prayer Meetings, And You1

Ryan M. McGraw

Verily, Verily, I say unto you, he that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask anything in my name, I will do it.

John 14:12-14

Most Christians recognize that we live in what the prophet Zechariah called “the day of small things” (Zech. 4:10). Churches in the West are, by and large, shrinking. The current period of Western history is now referred to as the “post-Christian era.” In a growing climate of religious apathy in which the powers of darkness appear to triumph, how should the church respond? The basic answer to this question is the same as it has been in every age: instead of beginning with what we must do, we must start with what we must believe and what the Lord requires of us. Christian labor must be grounded in Christian faith. Doing great things in the name of Christ stems from faith and obedience, rather than from our best laid plans and endeavors.

John 14:12-14 contains a manifesto that provides a theological foundation for the work of the church. This passage teaches that the primary concern of the church in every age should be to trust in the Lord to bless the preaching of the Word in response to fervent and corporate prayer. When we examine this text and then compare its teaching to the history recorded in the book of Acts, the following picture emerges: preaching is better than miracles, prayer precedes

effective preaching, and corporate prayer has priority over private prayer in accomplishing the mission of the church. This passage not only provides a theological foundation for corporate prayer; it indicates that the corporate prayer of the church should revolve around the preaching of the gospel. In order to establish this point, we will consider the nature of the “greater works” and the means of accomplishing them.

“The Same Works And Greater Things”

How can Christ say that His church would perform greater works than His? He is unique in His two natures—God and man in one divine Person—and He is suited uniquely to redeem us. His work as our Redeemer is incapable of analogy or supplement in the life and work of the church. Yet in this passage, the Lord declared that the work of ...

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