Editor’s Note: The following is an excerpt from Better Together: A Team Based Approach to Women’s Ministry. Get your free copy here.

We live in a culture that celebrates self-reliance and ingenuity, and this pressure extends into our ministry lives. We become reliant upon instant fixes to what our hearts desire, and our dependence upon the Lord diminishes. We depend upon our own wisdom and skill to accomplish the next task. In love, God uses prayer to shape us to be patient, expectant, and others-oriented. Prayer in the Bible has a communal dimension, which reflects our interdependence. Beginning with the family of Seth in Genesis who called upon the name of the Lord, Scripture shows us that God’s people pray together. In Acts we read that the early church “devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.”[1]

Prayer as a Priority

When we pray with one another, we will learn things about the Lord that we did not understand on our own. As often as we are able, we should prioritize prayer in community. C.S. Lewis, in The Four Loves, points out that the angels in Isaiah 6 are crying out “Holy, Holy, Holy” to one another. Each angel is communicating to the other angels the part of God’s glory that they see. As we pray and praise the Lord together, we get to know Him better and deepen our delight and dependence on Him.

When we pray in community our lives and ministry agendas are pried out of our own hands and return to the One whose glory we seek. The beginning of prayer (and truly the whole thing) is all about God. “Adoration” and “Thanksgiving” are God-oriented and heal the heart of self-centeredness. Augustine taught that one of the chief benefits of prayer is that it addresses our “disordered” loves. [2] He believed that if we do not let God change these drivers inside of us through prayer, they would be “part of the problem, not agents of healing.” When God is our greatest love and deepest delight, every other aspect of our prayer life is transformed.

Prayer Brings Perspective

Jesus’ prayer that He taught His disciples demonstrated how we are changed as believers. His opening address was aimed at the heart of our disordered loves. We are taught to approach God as “Our Father.”[3] These two powerful words invite us to remember and reflect upon who God has revealed Himself to be and how our own identity is transformed as His children. Acknowledging God for both His nearness and His transcendence humbles us. We approach God by Jesus’ goodness alone.[4] In unmerited mercy, we draw near to God as those born into faith by the Spirit. And when we pray following the pattern that Jesus taught, we ask God to give, forgive, and deliver us. No longer do we seek a kingdom of our own, but our desire is for His goodness and glory to extend over every inch of creation.

God has not only given us fellowship with Himself, but with one another. God has not left us alone. Christ has brought you into the family of God! As those invited into the community of faith, we bear one another’s burdens, rejoice with one another, mourn together, encourage one another, and admonish each other. When we lose sight of the Lord and His purposes, we neglect to pray. And when we neglect to pray in community, we lose sight of the Lord and His purposes, but as we pray together our hearts realign to seek the Lord’s glory.

[1] Acts 2:42

[2] Augustine, “Our Lord’s Sermon on the Mount”

[3] Matthew 6:9

[4] Eph 2:18

Photo by Rosie Sun on Unsplash

Meaghan May

Meaghan May is the PCA Elders’ Wives Liaison with PCA’s Discipleship Ministries (CDM). She has lived in many regions of the country and knows the goodness of God’s presence and work in each location. She loves the church and is thankful to equip and encourage His people, especially those serving as Elder’s wives. Meaghan has been on the PCA Women’s Ministry National Team as a Regional Advisor and currently serves as a trainer with Parakaleo. Meaghan is thankful to invest in the lives of women as the Women’s Ministry Director for Covenant Presbyterian Church of Naples and loves inviting women to live in light of the good news of the steadfast love of God in their current season. She prays that women will grow in their love for God, His word, and one another, that together they will magnify the Lord and exalt His Name (Psalm 34:3).

Meaghan loves to hike, laugh, read, experiment with new recipes, and cram into the minivan to explore new places on road trips with their five beautiful children.