How should the church members pray in the assembly? Should they pray in unison, or successively in a loud voice?
We do not find in the New Testament specific commands that we were told to pray only in one way or another one.
When addressing the subject of speaking in tongues during the worship service, the Apostle Paul writes about prayer as follows:
Therefore let one who speaks in a tongue pray that he may interpret. For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful. What is the outcome then? I will pray with the spirit and I will pray with the mind also; I will sing with the spirit and I will sing with the mind also. Otherwise if you bless in the spirit only, how will the one who fills the place of the ungifted say the “Amen” at your giving of thanks, since he does not know what you are saying? For you are giving thanks well enough, but the other person is not edified. (1 Corinthians 14:13-17)(NASB)
From this passage two important things stand out:
- It is important that other people understand what we say in our prayer so that they could unite and say “Amen”.
- Through one’s prayer others are edified spiritually, if they understand it.
Both when we pray successively in a loud voice, and when we pray in unison, it is important to understand and unite in our requests and thanksgiving as the Scripture says that Christians were doing in the first centuries. When the Apostles Peter and John were threatened by the synod and were asked not to preach about Jesus, the Scripture says that:
When they had been released, they went to their own companions and reported all that the chief priests and the elders had said to them. And when they heard this, they lifted their voices to God with one accord and said, “O Lord, it is You who MADE THE HEAVEN AND THE EARTH AND THE SEA, AND ALL THAT IS IN THEM, who by the Holy Spirit, through the mouth of our father David Your servant, said, ’WHY DID THE GENTILES RAGE, AND THE PEOPLES DEVISE FUTILE THINGS? THE KINGS OF THE EARTH TOOK THEIR STAND, AND THE RULERS WERE GATHERED TOGETHER AGAINST THE LORD AND AGAINST HIS CHRIST.’ For truly in this city there were gathered together against Your holy servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose predestined to occur. And now, Lord, take note of their threats, and grant that Your bond-servants may speak Your word with all confidence, while You extend Your hand to heal, and signs and wonders take place through the name of Your holy servant Jesus.” And when they had prayed, the place where they had gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with boldness. (Acts 4:23-31)(NASB)
We must pray together, in unison or one at a time, and especially important it is to pray in faith in obedience to the Holy Spirit.
Translated by Felicia Rotaru