“Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. At the same time, pray also for us”- Colossians 4:2,3
We enjoyed a visit from my brother and sister-in-law a week ago Saturday. It’s always a lot of fun; we laugh, tease each other a lot (not maliciously), and savor the time we spend together. As she was leaving, my sister-in-law hugged me and said, “You’re in my prayers and my daughter’s every day.”
Throughout my treatment for cancer this time I’ve had many people tell me the same thing. It is very humbling to know there’s such a loving group holding me up before the Father in prayer. I feel the strength that flows from it and it sustains me day to day, moment to moment. Thank you so much, my friends; you could have given me no greater gift or encouragement, and I don’t take that for granted.
I have been guilty, like others, of hearing about someone’s needs or problems and saying, “I’ll pray for you” and then allowing circumstances to make me negligent about carrying out that promise. I stand in awe of those who are prayer warriors. When they say you are continually in their prayers you never doubt it for a second. They may not be able to do anything else in that particular situation, but they are most definitely doing the serious work.
Paul understood the power in having the church pray for him and was unashamed to ask for it. He knew the task assigned to him was too big to accomplish on his own, and it was easy to become discouraged when things got tough. But when you know others are praying for you, it’s as if they are right there with you, engaged in the struggle and encouraging you to keep going. While we draw strength from having God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit with us always, there’s something uniquely empowering in knowing you have brothers and sisters who stand beside you in prayer, cheering for your victory. And I also understand that only too well.
I want to encourage us to be very serious about praying for one another. As Oswald Chambers pointed out again and again, prayer is not something done in preparation for working for God; prayer is the work. There’s nothing more important that we can do in serving one another than intervene on someone’s behalf at the throne of God. It’s a privilege to do so, one we should never take lightly.