I’ve written about it before. Prayer is the first, second, and final thing we are to do. Prayer is about being in communication with the one true living God. Prayer is more about listening than it is about talking. Prayer is bringing our burdens, with thanksgiving, before God, and seeking his direction and will. Prayer is supposed to change us, reshape us, help us grow in our faith.
There have been many times where I have fervently prayed. I prayed my knees out when my one week old daughter was in the hospital after she stopped breathing. I prayed my guts out when I was in the hospital for a week due to a TIA, not knowing what my future held. I prayed and prayed for leading and guidance as my wife and I sought God’s direction and discernment in taking a new charge in west Michigan.
Each day, I begin with prayer. Each day I begin with seeking God’s Word, meditating on it, and coming to Him in prayer. In prayer, I draw close to Him and He draws close to me.
And then there are the times where I don’t pray at all.
Two weekends ago, I was sick as a dog. Out of 39 hours, I was awake for almost 7 of them. I even did the unthinkable, I called up an elder on Saturday and told them I was too sick to preach on that Sunday. I wound up in the ER on that Monday morning, dehydrated and with a bad case of pneumonia.
The pumped me full of antibiotics and started an IV bag on me right away to get me hydrated. They put me on oxygen and dimmed the lights due to a massive headache brought on by the dehydration. I was sick. It wasn’t good.
And I didn’t pray.
My wife had called up her folks before we went to the ER and her dad (a pastor) said right away that he and my mother-in-law would be praying. That’s all I needed. Two people praying for me. I was good.
Then later my wife passed on the information to one of the elders from church and also the secretary (who is always awesome) and started the prayer chain. She also posted it on our Facebook page for church. And people were praying.
And yet I wasn’t.
The pastor, the spiritual leader, the one who is supposed to be in constant communion with God in order to lead the flock entrusted to his care, wasn’t praying.
I was tired. I was weak. I was worn. And others were praying on my behalf. Others were coming before the one true living God and praying for me on my behalf.
I was half way through a sermon series this month on growing to be like Jesus. We as a congregation looked at what it meant to be Jesus in what we did. And my church family at Friendship Chapel did just that. Together they acted as the body of Jesus, together they acted as Jesus.
Jesus, we read in Romans 8, is at the right hand of God the Father Almighty, interceding for us on our behalf. Intercede is to speak on one’s behalf in their stead and stand up for them. Jesus and the Holy Spirit constantly are praying for us.
In being Jesus, my church family prayed for me to God the Father Almighty on my behalf. I didn’t really know what to pray for (and to be honest, I wasn’t fully with it for the first day or so) or how to pray it. Yet my church family acted as Jesus and prayed for me on my behalf.
What greater way to be Jesus in their faith walk then to pray for someone on their behalf.
There is power in prayer. We don’t always know it. We don’t always see it. Prayer isn’t for God. It isn’t for his well being, it is for ours. It changes us, grows us, and as we pray together as the family of God, as the body of Jesus, it binds us closer together. The power of other people’s prayer does a mighty thing.
Healed or not, I know I’m in the hands of the almighty God, being tended to by my Savior divine, and comforted by the power of the Holy Spirit. I know that my church family is bound together as the body of Jesus, praying as Jesus, living together as Jesus, and being Jesus in their life together.
There is power in other people’s prayer.