Greetings and good morning, brothers and sisters. This is Dr. James Perry continuing with our series where we seek to explore the deeper meanings of our relationship with Jesus Christ. Over the years, the heavenly Father has revealed many revelations of spiritual truth to me, and I want to share them with you. This morning we seek to understand the mechanism of group prayer.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
The Mechanism of Group Prayer
"The Lord is far from the wicked, but he heareth the prayer of the righteous." Proverbs, Chapter 15, Verse 29
Brothers and sisters, in today’’s broadcast we share with you the mechanism of group prayer. We shall also share further insights into its function. In our sharing the mechanism of group prayer, it will be helpful if we share with you an example of a group prayer, and then do an analysis of that prayer to uncover the insights of the truth within this group prayer.
Heavenly Father, we are gathered here this morning to further coordinate and unify our efforts directed towards the work you have given us to do. As we partake of this food that through your good graces we have received, we pray, Father, that it will be used to empower us physically even as we ask you to empower us spiritually to do this great work. We have a difficult task for we have great obstacles and barriers that stand in the way of our carrying out these tasks. Strengthen our resolve, Father, and give us wisdom so that we can overcome all obstacles and barriers that stand in our way of serving our needy brothers and sisters.
Father as we sit around this table in this room, we realize that we are all different, with different perspectives and with different life experiences. The only thing that we really share fully is our desire to do this great work you have given us and the great truth that we are your children. Some of us are administrators; some of us are supporters; some of us are clerical; some of us Father are providers and nurses, while some of us provide for maintenance and transportation of our building and patients, respectively. With such a great variety of functions and personalities, we pray that you unify us with sympathy and tolerance for the other brothers’’ and sisters’’ point of view. We know Father that the demands of this great work keep increasing while our supply of resources keeps shrinking. Help us to realize Father that we must continue to improvise and adapt to the demands of the forces that assault us. Our patients don't understand our peculiar limitations. They only understand that they are in need of services that we provide or arrange to be provided for them. Help us to grow, Father.
Help us to realize Father that our patients are fully human just like we are. They like us are not always able to present the true picture of themselves. Sometimes countless disappointments, suffering, hopelessness, frustration and anger cloud the mirror of their true selves. Even though they be under our care medically, they have the same dreams, aspirations, same emotional, physical and spiritual needs that we have. Help us Father to realize that our patients are not just bad hearts, bad lungs, or bad knees but are persons of dignity, that they are your children too. Help us, Father, to serve them more fully and to remember always that by serving them we serve you.
Day in and day out Father we are confronted with the spectacle of human suffering, and it is easy to make our hearts cold and callous to prevent the ruinous emotional drain and toll upon ourselves. Teach us Father to keep our hearts soft by becoming empathetic. Teach us Father to renew our minds and our spirits. Father a lot of these patients we have been entrusted with have no other place to go. Help us to realize the sacred trust that you have given us. Let us always remember that our patients are at our mercy. Empower us with the desire to show mercy, for surely as the sun rises and sets, the day will come when we shall cry for mercy, if not in this life, then surely in the next one.
Finally Father, let us keep a sense of humor, for many stresses and strains can be dissolved by a good hearty laugh. Let us not take our selves too seriously while we take the work very seriously. Let us keep faith in one another as we pursue this work that you have given us for as long as you have given it to us. In your Son's name we pray. Amen.
In this group prayer, we observe the representative of the group praying to the heavenly Father for help. First we noticed that note is made of all the differences that the group members bring to the table. It is noted that they are unified by their desire to carry out the functions which they are organized. The various functions that individual members of the group have are given. And then taking note of all these different personalities, the representative of the group asks the Father to unify them with sympathy and tolerance for the other brothers’’ and sisters’’ point of view. They acknowledge the shrinking resources that are at their disposal for carrying out their particular mission. And they further ask the Father to help them to realize that they must make due with what they have, and not allow this to effect their care for the patients whom they have been entrusted to care for. Recognizing that they may not be up to the daunting task, they ask the Father for growth.
Next the group asks the Father to help them realize that the patients entrusted to their care are just like they are. The group reminds itself that the patients just like them are not always able to present the true picture of themselves. They remind themselves that just as they have been subjected to countless disappointments, suffering, feelings of hopelessness, frustrations and anger, so have their patients. They ask the Father to remind them though they present themselves for medical treatment, they have the same dreams, aspirations, emotional, physical and spiritual needs that members of the group have. And then they go on to ask the Father to help them to realize that these patients are not just bad hearts, bad lungs or bad knees, but are persons of dignity, that they too are the Father’’s children and that by serving them, they are in truth serving the Father.
The group asks the Father to prevent them from becoming callous to the spectacle of human suffering. They ask him to show them the better way of dealing with the emotional drain and toil upon themselves by keeping their hearts soft by displaying empathy and to replace their depleted energies by renewing their minds and spirits. The group reminds itself that a lot of their charges have no other place to turn for their care, and they if they don’’t take care of them no one will unless some catastrophic events overtakes them and they arrive in some emergency room dead on arrival. And they ask the Father to help them to realize the sacred trust they have been given. They ask to be reminded that the patients are at their mercy and that mercy shown is mercy received. And they are reminded that one day they too will seek mercy.
Finally they ask the Father, in the face of the many stresses and strains, to empower them to keep their sense of humor which is an essential antidote for dissolving the emotional energies associated with stresses and strains. And then they remind themselves not to take themselves too seriously while they take the work very seriously. And then in a supreme gesture of assertion, they remind themselves to keep faith in one another as they pursue the work that the Father has given them. And then they end the prayer by acknowledging that it is in the Son’’s name in which they pray. The word amen signals that the prayer is completed.
A chain is no stronger than its weakest link. When the group is working properly, all weaknesses are minimized and all strengths are magnified. Recognizing that there are weaknesses as well as strengths, the group exposes themselves to the strengthening presence of the Father, acknowledging the acceptance of the work as well as the need for spiritual power to carry out the work. Each individual comprising the group, receives that spiritual quality that he/she needs in order to carry out their function within the group. Group prayer has the effect of unifying them and concentrating their power so that it becomes focused like a laser beam, skillfully executing its task.
You might think that persons with weaknesses would tend to retard the group but this is not the case. For example, if you have, say, twenty people comprising a group and you have, say, a value of 5 for weaknesses and a value of 15 for strengths, you might conclude that the total value of the group’’s strength would be 10. But groups far exceed the mere sum of their individual members even as the Father, Son, and Spirit united in the trinity exceeds the mere sum total of their individual contributions. The total value strength of the 20 members is more than a value of 15. It is more of a value of 15 squared, or 325.
"Group or congregational praying is very effective in that it is highly socializing in its repercussions. When a group engages in community prayer for moral enhancement and spiritual uplift, such devotions are reactive upon the individuals composing the group; they are all made better because of participation. Even a whole city or an entire nation can be helped by such prayer devotions. Confession, repentance, and prayer have led individuals, cities, nations, and whole races to mighty efforts of reform and courageous deeds of valorous achievement."
This concludes today's message on understanding the mechanism of group prayer. We hope you find something in this message to ponder and pray about as you go about your day.
Until next time, this is Dr. James Perry.