I lead a prayer group every Thursday night. Normally we are a small group of 5, though we recently added a new member. The regular folks often express their desire for more people to attend and they are convinced that more people praying there with us would change the state of affairs for the church. Now, I am whole-heartedly convinced about the power of prayer, so it's not that I don't think more prayer wouldn't help. But I do know we have many faithful folks who pray at home. So then the question becomes--does it matter if we pray in community? Does God hear us differently if we pray the same thing as a group or as separate individuals? Why should people come to communal prayer? Will it make a difference? (either for them or for the prayers being offered)? In large part, I think the benefit of praying together is sharing with the community and having people who care and who are invested. I think intercession (praying on behalf of another) is also a benefit, but both of those things seem to be more about us than about God.
So I'm looking for input/feedback/opinions--does communal prayer make a difference? if so, how?