Think about a time in your life where you felt hopeless, defeated, tired, and felt like there was no end in sight for your current life battles. In that moment what do you want from those around you? Do you want them saying “I will pray for you” or would you rather then stop what they’re doing and say “Let’s pray together right now.”
Matthew 18:20 (NIV)
20 For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”
For years I have seen and heard so many people say “I will pray for you” or “Praying!” in response to the needs around them. I can’t judge the heart of others but I know my heart and I know there have been times in the past where I would say “I will pray for you” and then never think about it again let alone pray for it. This has been something that God has brought to my attention and laid it on my heart to change.
Recently, I have had multiple experiences where the friends in my life are praying with me and not just for me. It made such a difference. As you know a few months ago I took on a work from home job. It is an amazing job, it is soo much fun, and it allows me to be wife, mom, and friend first while also giving me an outlet to work with students. In the beginning of this job I was in the middle of learning a whole new world of foreign exchange students, being trained, hiring employees, training employees, etc. On top of all of this, my blog went live which was months and months of work and still equals a part time job on a weekly basis. To say the least, I have been very busy adjusting to new adventures. I had a friend over and she was asking about my new job and how I was feeling. While talking through all of my thoughts and how I was processing all of it she literally looked at me and said, “Well, let’s pray!” and took my hands, in the middle of my kitchen, and prayed over me. That is what my soul needed. I didn’t need to hear someone tell me they will pray for me, I needed someone to pray with me. Hearing her words speaking over me gave me such peace and comfort. The Lord used her and her prayers.
Another experience that just happened that really made me want to write about this idea was when last week myself and three of my friends got together. We purposely got together to share what has been going on in our life so we can pray with each other. We shared about loss, anxiousness, attacks, etc that night. It was wonderful to be on the same page with women you trust. We spent three hours talking, sharing, praying and being transparent. I was able to open up and it felt safe. I left that night feeling protected and peaceful.
24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
When people pray with me and then come back later and ask how I am doing or ask if they can help, it makes me feel like I am not alone. I feel like I have a support system. It strengthens my relationship with them. It strengthens my relationship with the Lord.
Prayer works and while I do believe praying for someone is equally effective as praying with someone, I find praying with people is an opportunity to speak words of peace into their spirit and lift the weight of the world around them off their shoulders.