Four ways our faith deepens as we prayerfully stand with others who need help.
Posted in , Jul 1, 2020
As human beings, not a day goes by when one of us is not asking for prayers as our needs and problems are often beyond our power. But just as we gain strength from handing over our troubles to God, we also receive strength when others pray for us.
Recently I was working at my home office when my cell phone buzzed. “My friend Lorie’s son is going into the military, and she wants him to be prayed over. Can you do this?” I was asked.
I am social distancing in this time of Covid-19, but as a church pastor, I heard a mom pleading for a prayer over her son. So I immediately told her that I could pray with them at my office. I would work out the details about how to maintain social distancing, wear a mask and pray. After we met and prayed, I could see that a worried mom had found some peace.
It’s a humbling experience and a blessing to be asked to pray for a person in their time of need. Throughout the years I have seen and experienced the power of being prayed for in my own life and in the lives of friends and strangers. This is what I’ve learned about praying for others:
1) We partner with God in the Kingdom work.
For each person who requests our prayer, God is already at work in their lives. In praying for them, we join God’s team to bring change, healing, reconciliation, renewal and transformation in that person’s life. Author Max Lucado writes, “You are never more like Jesus than when you pray for others.”
2) We connect with people in their time of need.
Our hearts are joined when we pray for others. It lets them know they are not alone, and they feel our love and compassion. No one forgets those who stood with them when life was tough or uncertain.
3) We deepen our faith.
We have front row seats and witness God’s power, grace and love in action as we pray for others. The character and power of God is revealed as we pray, and we learn to recognize the mystery of God’s will. As our faith grows, we understand that the Lord will continue to work miracles in the lives of others.
4) We share the burden.
The weight on a person’s shoulders lifts when we pray with and for them. We share in their troubles and hopes; we feel their loss when we prayerfully stand by them. My own burdens also recede when I pray for others.
The founder of the international charity World Vision, Bob Pierce, once prayed: “Let my heart be broken by the things that break the heart of God.” His eyes were opened to the needs of children around the world, and he prayed to bring hope to the hardest places to be a child.
When we pray for others, God also opens our eyes to the needs of people everywhere—their pain, addiction, hurt, illness and heavy hearts. In prayer, our hearts recognize that every, single person matters to God.