Here are two verses of scripture that many of us over the years have not fully understood. You might say we have grabbed the “wrong end of the stick”. From the KJV are the two verses:

Matthew 18:19–20 KJV Again, I tell you, that if two of you agree upon earth upon any matter for which you are praying, you will receive it from my Father who is in heaven. Where two or three are assembled together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

Using various commentary there seems to be the agreement that if we take these two verses literally, without curtain qualification, there is a highly reasonable opinion that it is untrue in the largest sense of the word. We are not setting out to disprove scripture but rather to amplify the meaning, which truly adds to the promises of God and strengthens the covenant between He and his people. There have been countless times two people have come together to pray for the healing and spiritual growth of others and in a real sense it was not answered as they might have expected. Many pray desperately for the conversion of the unbelievers, the coming of the Kingdom and yet to this day those prayers have not been fully answered. One commentary even goes as far to say,“there is harm in teaching people to expect what does not happen.” We do an injustice to scripture in refusing to face the facts of the situation. When we seek to probe through prayer and the writings of past saints we find a depth of comfort and a renewal in our strength to continue our walk of faith. Consider this… If we are selfish in our prayers we will not find an answer. Add these interesting factors to that.

-we should not pray only for our own needs, selfishness is not in the character of our God

-consider this, one basic truth of unselfish prayer… it is always answered but the truth is that we will not always receive the answer we want but the answer will be that which God in his wisdom and his love knows to be best for us and all concerned. 

-we all have fears, hopes and desires and many times our prayers are for escape from difficult situations, sorrow or disappointment. Through the power of prayer and wisdom of God we are able endure those things we don’t understand or just simply overwhelm us. As an example of this Barclay writes that the best example of this is Jesus praying at Gethsemane. Jesus prayed to be released from the terrible situation that lie ahead for Him…He was not but the Father gave Him the power to meet it,  to endure and to conquer it. We must as Christians come to understand that God does answer prayers…however the answer will always be His, not necessarily ours. Jesus made a great promise, that where two or three are gathered in his name, he is there in the midst of them. Two points here for us to consider.

-first the Church, it would not be wrong to say that God is just as present in a small congregation as a large mass meeting. God is just as present at meeting in a crowded arena as at a local bible study or prayer group of just a few of the faithful.The presence of God does not look first at the numbers but among those of a faithful heart, regardless of number.

-one early interpretation of these words was that the words refers to home…father, mother and child. God is there an unseen guest in every home of faith. 

It does not require a great occasion for God, every occasion where even two or three are gathered in his name is a great occasion. Prayer is truly the engine that fuels faith…

Life is Good