Do you have to pray with others, or can you pray alone?

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 12,217
    Pastor Rock Schuler discusses how to live a spiritual and prayerful life, including praying alone versus with others.

    Rock Schuler

    Rock Schuler is the Rector (Pastor) of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Olney, Maryland. He has served as an ordained minister of the Episcopal Church since 1990 after studying for the priesthood at Seabury-Western Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois. He was awarded a Doctorate of Ministry in Congregational Development in 2002. In the course of his ministry, Rock has served on an Indian Reservation, in rural Wyoming, and in major suburban areas. In addition to pastoring the people of his congregation, he has been involved in community service projects to serve the homeless, refugees, and the addicted. He’s also been involved in international outreach projects in Latin America and Africa. Rock’s spiritual roots lie in the early Christian Church, in Native American spirituality, in the liturgical worship and traditions of the Episcopal Church, and most especially in his own personal relationship with the living Lord Jesus Christ. He appreciates the mystery and mysticism of the Christian faith while offering thanks for a lifelong and joyous love of Jesus. Rock, born in 1965, is from Wyoming, where he served his first two churches. He is married to Jennifer, whom he met while serving a parish outside of Philadelphia, and has two beautiful daughters, Leia and Rebecca. Rock is into science fiction and fantasy (especially "Battlestar Galactica," "Star Trek," "Lost," and "The Lord of the Rings"), movies, reading, kayaking/canoeing, hiking, and running.

    Host: Do you have to pray with other people or can you pray alone?

    Rock Schuler: Jesus once said that he would be present with anyone who was praying with another person or with the couple of other people. He said where two or three are gathered, I will be present with them. Jesus clearly had in mind that it is when people gather and prayer that the Spirit of God is most actively present. Now that does not mean we cannot pray alone, of course we can pray alone. We have a long believed that all the company of saints, all the faithful of God who have gone before us, who have passed on, they accompany us everywhere and are always in prayer with us. So in reality, we're never really alone in prayer; we are supported by the prayer of our forebearers and ancestors. And when we are connected with a community of spiritual travelers; religious community, a group of people who support us in our spiritual journey, that community stays with us as well. Even when we are alone, we are connected with them spiritually. So, the answer to the question is, we are always in prayer with other people one way or another and that means that we can pray even when we are by ourselves.