Just in a month, my sister is getting married, and our family is “all hands on deck” to make that day special for her and her fiancé! From the tiny decoration details, to ceremony timeline, it has been encouraging to see my sister and fiancé, and respective families being in agreement on important matters as they tie the knot. Without such intentional agreement, no decision would be made for the day, and for those of us helping, we wouldn’t be able to act on their behalf to get things done. Their agreement is a beautiful picture of working in harmony with the same heart, and being united with the same vision for marriage. I cannot help but to think that Our Father God delights in us having the same type of agreement when in prayer. He can use it to move on our behalf and change the world around us. Agreement is powerful and impactful in the spiritual realm.
When we pray in agreement with another person, we are in essence agreeing in heart, and in His name; foremost we’re agreeing with God’s heart and His will. Jesus tell us in Matthew 18:29-20 that as we pray like that, He will act:
“Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”
The word “agree”in Matthew 18 in the Chinese Bible is translated 同心合意(Tóngxīn héyì), which means “with same heart, in consensus on a matter”-just as my sister and her fiancé are in agreement with one heart. This Chinese – English dictionaryfurther defines 同心合意 as koinonia, the Greek word meaning spiritual communion and fellowship.When praying, Jesus is teaching us here to pray together with the same heart, in spiritual fellowship, being in accord on the same matter, not in competition with each other.
When we pray in agreement with another person, we are in essence agreeing in heart, and in His name; foremost we’re agreeing with God’s heart and His will.
Tracing back to its original Greek, in which the New Testament is written in, that word“agree”in verse 19, is sumphoneo– compounded by two words, sumwhich means together, and phoneowhich means to sound. This is where we get the word symphony! In this context “agree”means then to sound together, be in one accord, and be in harmony. Metaphorically, it means to agree together in prayer that is concordant. Prayer can be an amazing symphony to God as we pray in harmony and not in dissonance with each other.
How do we pray in agreement then?
1. According to God’s Heart, for one another, agreeing on the same matter. 同心合意
Philippians 2:1-4 says that we ought to do everything not out of selfish ambition, but instead to look out for the interest of others, in one accord, with same love and being of one mind. When praying, have this motivation in your heart, not to compete, not for your gains, but for the good of the other person you are praying for or with, for in doing so, you will be praying in a Christ-like manner. Praying the opposite way would be disagreement. We all have experienced this cloud of paralyzing emotions that comes when not being on the same page with another person – no vision moves forward and nothing gets accomplished. Pray for people, and not against them!
2. According to His Word, and His will.
Use God’s music sheet so to speak which is His Word. Agreeing in prayer means that our prayer must agree with God’s word. In order to pray in faith, and in confidence to receive the things we asked for, we must find out what God says, and His purposes for us. His will is His Word. When we agree with the Word, He is in agreement with us. He will perform what He has agreed upon (Mark 11:22,24; 1 John 5:14). Praying for our will does not make it God’s will.
3. Not according to our leading, but the Holy Spirit’s leading.
Be in tuned with the Holy Spirit and pray in the Spirit. He is our Conductor! Romans 8:26 says that the Holy Spirit will help us pray the perfect will of God. When we do not know how to pray we just need to allow the Holy Spirit to guide us and have him intercede for us. In fact, it is the Holy Spirit that knows the mysteries to come, and His purposes, and is able to reveal that to us (Romans 8:27; 1 Corinthians 2:10; John 16:13-15). We can ask God to give us the knowledge of His will and spiritual wisdom to know how to pray (Ephesians 1:15-18).
4. Not according to one person “playing music” but many harmonizing in prayer.
In a symphony, all musicians are actively playing their instruments at once. When we come to pray in agreement, be actively engaged when the other person is praying by believing in faith for what is being prayed for. Be sincere. Don’t be double minded or wander off while you pray with/for someone. There is great power in unity. The Word says that “…one will put one thousand to flight (meaning demons), but two will put ten thousand to flight.” (Leviticus 26:8; Deuteronomy 32:30). There is power in praying alone but it is much mightier when you join someone in prayer. Psalm 133:1-3 also says that there is an anointing that flows when brothers and sisters in Christ are in agreement and in unity God commands a blessing upon it.
As we pray in agreement, we do not change nor manipulate God, as He is the same yesterday, today and forever. Rather, Jesus uses our hearts knitted together in harmony to accomplish His purpose here on earth. Wouldn’t you agree that God is able to do exceedingly and abundantly if we were united with one heart in prayer?
PS: If you like to grow in learning how to pray in agreement with each other for His will, I encourage you to come to Saturday Morning Prayer, and experience the spiritual symphony that happens when we agree together for the church and our city.