February 2, 2006
I had this email in my box that came from GodSquad.com.
I have recently been challenged on Group Prayer by someone who believes that the Mathew6v5-15 prohibits one from group prayer, particularly because it was an instruction given to us by Jesus.
Here is my response: You need to consider the context of Matthew 6. Jesus is preaching against doing outwardly religious things to get the attention of others. He is not prohibiting group prayer. If that was the case, why do you see group prayer in the book of Acts? Acts 4:24-31 would be a good example.
The important thing in interpreting Scripture is to always consider the context. You also have to compare it to what the Bible as a whole teaches or sets forth as example. Reading the book of Acts, we see that Christians gathered in groups to pray. Matthew 18:20 says, “For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.”
I would also add that the Bible teaches that we are to gather in community to encourage and grow. That is the purpose of the church. My thought is that if you take the line of thinking that prohibits group prayer, you could begin to make an argument against gathering together to do any spiritual activity. That is just wrong theology.