We were created with fellowship in mind – not just with God – but with each other. In the beginning, God created Adam and Eve (Genesis 2:18-24) and it didn’t stop there. The Bible is bursting with stories of friendship – of communities of people praying, worshipping God and doing life together.
Together in prayer for an end to global poverty
Why fellowship is so important for Christians and how praying together can deepen our faith.
Written by Rachael Adams | 20 Jan 2022
In the book of Acts, Luke – the author – is quick to tell us how the early church structured their days. ‘They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.’ (Acts 2:42)
Paul continues this message in the book of Hebrews, ‘Let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another.’ (10:24-25)
The coronavirus pandemic has forced us to change the ways in which many of us enjoy fellowship. We’ve had to find new ways to do life together – constantly adapting to new regulations. But no matter the circumstances we can find ourselves in, we know we need each other.
Our global staff team shares their experiences of praying together through the pandemic and advice for how we can get started – and keep going.
Ngolsou, from our Chad Team, shares a helpful outline of how Tearfund’s Chad Team structure their time together, whether in person or online:
1. Worship time. Staff members take three days during the week to sing together in order to worship and give thanks to the Lord for his mercy. This can take about a few minutes. It is a time of healing the hearts from the challenges we are facing.
2. Sharing the word of God. Hearing God through the holy word is a great time to approach him and let ourselves be driven by God. Discussion with each other around the table can make the sharing friendly and reinforce relationships.
3. Prayer time: During prayers, everyone shares. This is a time to hear about each other and our families. This allows us to support each other as needed. During these moments, we pray also for colleagues, local partners, and churches – no matter where they are. This is a moment to find ourselves supportive and connected to others.
Through prayer and worship, lives are changed. Worship and dancing at the Anglican Church, Kigali Diocese in Rwanda | Credit: Marcus Perkins/Tearfund
Witnessing God’s glory together
‘We are more encouraged and motivated when our prayers are answered,’ continues Ngolsou.
‘Regular prayers for projects, and for God's intervention, has all caused us to witness God's saving hand,’ adds Ikponmwosa, from our West Africa Team. ‘Through our prayers for one another and respective country issues, it allows us to have a greater spiritual bond and the opportunity to know the needs of each other.’
‘Coming to pray together as countries and wider teams allows us to focus our prayers as a people. Over the Christmas break, a number of staff were ill. To God be the glory, they are all healed now.’
Spending time together in prayer also can help us grow deeper in our relationship with God.
‘Praying with other Christians has been a whole new experience to me,’ shares Caroline, who is part of our Latin American and Caribbean Team.
‘Spiritually I have grown. By hearing others speak with God, I've learned how God speaks to other's hearts – I learn about the intimacy of other people’s relationship with God.
‘It has also helped me learn to express feelings or concerns that otherwise I could previously not find the words to express on my own.
‘I love the fact that we are encouraged at Tearfund to pray for each other because it brings us together – it gives us the opportunity to celebrate our faith in God and share our concerns in our lives and in our work. It also gives me a certain kind of peace when we pray for direction in our work.
‘I think we grow stronger when we pray together. When we pray we open our hearts and bring God to the centre of our lives. And when we do this together for global issues or the global church, I feel like our prayers grow stronger too. We know that we are not facing these issues alone.’
Reading the Bible and praying together can deepen our relationships with God and with each other. A Bible study group at the Assemblies of God Church in Bangladesh | Credit: Ralph Hodgson/Tearfund
Praying together for an end to global poverty
Joining together in prayer with others is powerful. Jesus tells us: ‘For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.’ (Matthew 18:20).
Praying for each other and building each other up is important. But, as Ngolsou and Caroline mention, praying for others – especially our global neighbours – is a way for us to join in with what God is doing in the world.
Fellowship is intentional and for it to work, it needs time and commitment to flourish. Therefore, the best place to start is to look at what groups you are already a part of – these could be your church small group, a prayer triplet or those you live or work with. These are groups of people you have already committed to spend your time with. You could also ask the Holy Spirit to guide you to set up something new and ask who to invite!
The next step is to look at how you can integrate praying for others in your time together. Here are some helpful tips from our team:
1. If you haven’t already, sign up to Tearfund’s One Voice in Prayer email and get weekly prayers from our global staff team. You can use the email as a guide each week in how you can pray for people living in poverty.
2. Choose a country and commit to praying for the country regularly. Pray for God’s kingdom to come. Pray for individuals and communities. Pray for those in power. And pray for the local church to continue to bring hope. You could up a news alert on your phone and share the latest information with your group throughout your week, encouraging people to keep praying.
3. Explore different ways of praying about global issues, learning from how each other prays and hears from God. You could try speaking blessings, praying the Lord’s prayer, or even go on a prayer walk together.
4. Incorporate worship into your times of prayer together. Worship can help free us from distractions and focus on God more clearly, which can help bring direction to our times of prayer. As you worship God, ask him to share with you words, pictures and Bible verses that you can then share with your group about an issue you’ve decided to pray about.
Sign up here to One Voice in Prayer and join together with thousands of people each week in prayer for an end to global poverty.
Written by Rachael Adams
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