The great spiritual teacher Jean Vanier taught that three things are required in order to form community: Feasts, Celebration, and Prayer. When we learn the metaphysical reality of prayer, we learn the beauty of its role in our corporate celebration. In the book of James, we are reminded of the blessing of praying with one another. He alludes to the fact that praying together is important for our sick bodies, but in confessing our sins to one another, somehow, our souls are healed as well.
When Jesus teaches us to pray, he doesn’t teach us to pray as individuals. He teaches us to pray to OUR FATHER, as we are to ask for forgiveness for our sins, and forgive others who sin against us. We ask that he leads us from temptation and delivers us from evil. This prayer implies that not only is the life of faith not meant to be lived alone but it’s meant to be lived in prayer with one another. We’re called to pray with one another as we seek God together and learn to embody him to one another.
Prayer was meant to be corporate because Christianity was meant to be corporate. Life with God cannot exist without some extent of community with those around us. Prayer was meant to bond people together. Prayer creates friendship. Prayer unites people in the soul.