QUESTION: “Is group prayer more effective than praying solo? If I round up 20 people to pray for world peace, would that be more effective than 5 people praying — or just one person? In other words, where prayer is concerned, is there “strength in numbers”?
There is a tendency to think that group prayer is like building an army: if you have an army of 100 soldiers fighting on the battlefield, it has to be better than a scrimpy army of 10 gun-toting soldiers.
Also, there is the idea that the greater the number, the greater the effectiveness. A man, chased by a ginormous grizzly, reasons that firing 1000 bullets certainly must be more effective than firing just one bullet.
No Opponents, Just Revelation
When you seem to be dealing with an opponent, perhaps there is strength and effectiveness in numbers. Yet, IN PRAYER YOU ARE NOT CONTENDING WITH AN ADVERSARY. Prayer, right-focused prayer, is about the business of awareness, discernment, realization, and revelation. Simply put, prayer is about discerning God’s presence — and what God is — as the sum-total of existence.
While others cowered in fear and uncertainty, Christ Jesus often stood alone in His awareness of God’s Allness. And standing alone proved to be enough! Just one identity clearly perceiving the Isness of the Allness of God is always enough. However, there is a special value in group prayer.
What Makes Group Prayer Effective
Imagine that you seem to have a problem on the job — perhaps a personality clash. Each day the situation sours like lemon curdled milk. Being the much-loved person that you are, you easily gather 25 people to pray for you. Day and night, they pour their hearts into perceiving God’s presence as being all that is present as the totality of your work environment. Out of these 25 sincerely praying friends, one (and that’s all it takes) is bound to achieve the clarity that God is indeed the only Activity, Identity, and Evidence. Miracle of miracles, the next day you go to work it seems like your fairy godmother waved her magic wand over the office. All is love, light and laughter.
Don’t be deceived! The obvious assumption is that the dedicated prayers of the prayer group worked a miracle in your situation, but that wasn’t the case at all. It was the razor-sharp perception of that one person that revealed God’s Allness.
By the above example, you can see that the value of a large number of people praying is that at least one will experience a clear realization of God’s Allness. But you don’t need a group. You can be that one.