How to Pray Article Series: Benefits of Praying with Others

Published: 14th January 2010
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Many people have a lot of questions about how to pray, and one of the commonly asked questions is about praying with other people. Another part of this article series already discussed the effectiveness and importance of praying with other people. Now, let us discuss the benefits of praying with other people

1. It provides us with the support and encouragement we need in our prayer life. We certainly can benefit from the wisdom and reinforcement we get from others.

When I was still a student, I experienced the benefit of praying with others from a friend of mine who was quite prayerful. She asked me one day if it would be all right if we pray together, at first I was hesitant but I gave it a try. Every week after our class, we would meet for an hour and we would discuss our problems. We listened to the perspective of each other and in the end, we prayed for each other. We wrote down of our prayers and God's answer to them. There are instances when I was discouraged but my friend gave me the encouragement I needed to go on. At times when my prayers were flat and dry, my friend would make up for it, and I also did the same for her. My prayer life would be a mess if not for my friend who gave me the wisdom, reinforcement, and courage that I needed during those times.

2. Praying with others keeps our praying right on track. If we only pray on our own, we can stop praying or pray only when we need something, or be so self-absorbed or self-indulgent in our prayers. We can even stray away from the truth. We are more likely to stay focused on the truth if we pray with other people.

There were instances when I was weary to pray only to have my passion for prayer rekindled again through words from a fellow believer, from a sermon at mass, or by the overwhelming presence of the Holy Spirit during a prayer rally.

3. Praying with others foster a sense of community. We human beings are naturally social beings. We feel good in being a part of a community. We participate when we worship with other people. We do not have to worry about the things we need to say, instead our priest or pastor jumpstarts our efforts to reach God. We are led in a chorus of praise and worship.

Dr. Harold Koenig, director of the Center for the Study of Religion, Spirituality and Health at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina, pointed out that there are health benefits gained from the sense of community that religious activities such as group prayer foster in those who regularly do them.

If you only pray on your own, start praying with other people. Start with a family member, a friend, or anyone who you feel comfortable with. Do not be afraid that you may not know how to start and what to say when you meet. Open up about your needs and your problems. Listen to what each other have to say. Towards the end, pray together. Thank and praise God and pray for each other's concerns. The prayer does not need to be long; you could start with 10 minutes and gradually increase it as you become more comfortable praying with each other.

Keep a relationship with those you pray with that is based on mutual respect and love. Avoid anything that is divisive like jealousy, envy, resentment, etc. I believe that praying with others is most effective when the people involved relate to one another in a spirit of love, respect and harmony.

Go check out my free 13 video series on the answers to your biggest questions about prayers . For details on how to make your prayers more powerful and effective, visit

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