United Through Christ
While I was on my trip I got to meet up with a friend I have only been face to face with one time. Two years ago, while on vacation, Mike, Mom and I walked into a jewelry store and made friends with one of the employees. While looking around and making our purchases we learned that her husband had cancer. I shared a little bit about my journey and told her I would pray for him and I did. She sent me an email that her husband was reading my blog every day. A few months ago I called to tell her we were coming to town and I hoped to see her. When I asked about her husband she told me he had passed away in the fall. I was so sad and I told her my prayers would continue for her. I began sending her notes and sending her weekly letters for people who need encouragement. When we walked in her store last week, I did not recognize her but as soon as we realized who the other was, we hugged. There is always a connection that I cannot explain when I pray for someone. It is of God. What a blessing praying for her turned into! I believe we are lifers! (Friends for life!)
In Galatians 6:2, we are told, "Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ." I remember the blessing it was to me during some dark times to KNOW someone was praying for me. I know there are some who say they will pray and forget but I KNOW there are some who say they will pray and they pray! Therefore, I want to be a blessing to others. When we pray for others it shows them how much we love them. When we do not know what else we can do for someone, we can pray. Praying for someone else is free and powerful! It is a right and loving thing to do to take their pain to God. Praying for others helps us show compassion for others.
When we tell someone we are going to pray for them, we are putting on God's armor and going to battle for them. Ephesians 6: 18-19, "And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel..."
Here is the hard part. I will never forget the first time someone told me they would pray for me and then they did - right then, out loud. I was overcome with emotion. I will never forget when someone asked me to pray for them while they were in the hospital and I said of course. And I intended and would pray for them every day and then I heard God tell me, do it NOW, Jill. Thankfully, I did because even though she was supposed to make a full recovery she died the next day. Part of my prayer was the prayer of salvation. Never have I been so thankful that I stepped out of my comfort zone and prayed. What a powerful witness to pray over someone, coming together, before the throne of God!
It may feel uncomfortable to pray with someone but God never mentioned being comfortable. He instructed us to pray for one another and bear each other's burdens. James 5 : 16 tells us, "Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective." Our words do not have to be eloquent, in fact, it will probably mean more to the person if they hear and feel love and trust in our conversation with God. We are all equipped to be prayer warriors on behalf of others. The greatest gift we can give to each other is to pray for each other. Who can you pray for today?