“For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.””
Matthew 18:20 NIV
Jesus looked ahead to a new day when he would be present with his followers not in body, but through his Holy Spirit. In the body of believers (the church), the sincere agreement of two people in prayer is more powerful than the superficial agreement of thousands, because Christ’s Holy Spirit is with them. Two or more believers, filled with the Holy Spirit, will pray according to God’s will, not their own; thus, their requests will be granted. ( Tyndale Study Bible)
I would like you to take time to read the Below commentary by Tim Chaffey – Posted in Christian Living, Q & A Tagged Bible, Christian Living, Church, Jesus Christ, New Testament, Theology permalink
It refers to Church life.” What’s interesting to me is that scripture commands us to reach out to the failing brother. I firmly believe that there is power in numbers. I have to say that God is everywhere he is present through the Holy Spirit. We can call on his strength individually at any time. That does not mean that he will answer our prayers because that is his will. Read the preceding section in Matthew.The important thing God is present at all times no matter how many we are. So just have faith you don’t need to rely on others to call on God’s power.”
Back to Jesus story. If the sinning brother did not make things right in the presence of two or three witnesses, then the case was to be brought before the church. If he refused to listen to the church’s decision, then he was to be thrown out of the congregation. I know that sounds harsh in our day because precious few churches practice discipline as Jesus instructed. Please consider preceding this verse, Matthew wrote about the parable of the lost sheep. The Shepherd would all the other sheep and look for the lost sheep. Following this verse is the parable of the forgiving servant. Jesus is asked, how many times one should forgive, and he says seventy times seven.
It is with this in mind that Jesus said that the Father would grant the request of two or more who gather together in Christ’s name and are in agreement. Agreement on what? On disciplining the erring brother. That’s what this passage is about, and yet so many Christians use it as though Jesus promised to answer their prayers when offered in certain situations.
Before I finish this post, let me stress what the Bible does say about prayer. The Apostle John wrote, “Now this is the confidence we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him” (1 John 5:14–15). John also wrote, “And whatever we ask we receive from Him because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight” (1 John 3:22).
So we can have confidence in God answering our prayers when we are obediently following Him and praying according to His will. If you haven’t experienced answered prayer, then perhaps you aren’t living in obedience and/or praying according to His will (or maybe He did answer it, and you didn’t recognize the response because He often answers in ways we don’t expect).
“Lord I thank you for Your power. I am privileged to be Your child. Amen.”