Matthew Chapter 18- Part 5
Agreeing in Prayer-
"If two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven." (Matthew 18:19)
Praying alone, praying in two's and praying as a congregation are all effective and brings answers from heaven. Yet, Jesus, who himself often detached temporarily from his disciples and prayed alone to the Father, here proclaims that...If two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. So what's the mystery?
When a person prays alone, most often his/her prayers are directed towards his/her needs. Some of such prayers tend to border on the selfish. But an immediate change comes when two different persons get together in prayer. The needs then are addressed regarding the other person in the presence of the Father. Each one praying for the other brings about encouragement and edification too. Burdens are lightened by the thought that there is someone to pray to the Father on one's behalf. This effect is multiplied when a whole congregation prays together for a needy soul. Also, sometimes, one may be so distressed, so as not being able to pray and in such situations, when another prays a fervent prayer, the burdens are lightened immediately. The fruit of the Spirit is increased too as we pray for and with another, as we are loosing the great virtues of love, compassion and mercy in to the lives of others. James writes in his epistle, "Confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed...(James 5:16)
Encouragement, edification, healing, effective burden bearing, fruit bearing, miracles; all these result from prayers prayed together in unity and with humility.
3 important things need to be addressed here, regarding Jesus' statement- "If two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven"
1. Now this is the confidence that we have in him, that if we ask anything according to His will, he hears us. (1 John 5:14)- Asking should be according to the Father's will.
2. Whatever we ask, we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do those things that are pleasing in his sight. (1 John 3:22)- A Scripture directed living is needed.
3. The answer can be immediate or after a while- It's God's time.
Finally, the context in which Jesus speaks this is the disciplining of an erring member of Church and if taken in that context, it says that, the Father in heaven will answer prayers concerning this issue when two agree regarding the matter.