Praying with you, rather than just for you.

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by Rachelle Williams

“God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the less honorable, so that there would be no division in the body, but that the members would have the same concern for each other. So if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. – 1 Corinthians 12:24-26 (HCSB)

While we’re talking about prayer this week, I wanted to put some emphasis on us, the women here in our MOPS group, and what I believe God has called us to be for each other. I feel like sometimes, no matter how close we get with someone, it can be hard to form a spiritual friendship.

You know, where you feel comfortable really opening up.
…being raw with your emotions, your weaknesses, your sins, your fears.
…and not just opening up about those things, but joining together in prayer about them.

Living in the “Bible belt”, I think that we hear “praying for you” so often that it has somewhat lost it’s power. I feel like we’ve grown numb to what “praying for you” really means. I’m sure that if we’re honest with ourselves, we’ve probably all said it a time or two.. and then we didn’t actually pray about it. I’m sure most us have good intentions when we say it, but we got busy or forgot and then it just never happened. I personally LOVE when instead of saying “praying for you”.. someone says “Can I pray with you?” and right then and there, they pray with me.

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That may sound incredibly uncomfortable to some of you. Or intimidating even. Praying out loud absolutely terrified me just a few years back. I worked on staff at a church as a youth pastor. During our staff meetings, we would go around the circle and pray out loud together. I remember being so incredibly nervous that I would plan ahead what I would pray about so I didn’t get stuck in the moment and sound ridiculous. Every now and then, I’d get in a real pickle when the person before me would pray about what I planned to pray about. The nerve. Stealing my prayers and all. 😉

Well, fast forward to another church I attended later on: Every so often, they would have nights where people broke into pairs or small groups and prayed with each other. It was a little nerve wracking to begin with and it made my social anxiety sky rocket.. but that is where I learned to really pray.

I listened to these other people’s prayers.
They were pouring their hearts out to God.
Not just for themselves, but on my behalf.
I could feel the honesty and the sincerity in their voices as they prayed.
For the first time in my life, I felt that I was really getting a glimpse into what brothers and sisters in Christ were supposed to look like.
And what faith filled prayers sounded like.

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“Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men—extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.’ And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” – Luke 18:10-14 (NKJV)

We can get so caught up in being “spiritually correct” and trying to sound so Biblically educated and self righteous that we forget that God just wants to hear whats on our hearts.

He doesn’t care if we use thee, thy and thou correctly. He doesn’t care if we stutter. It doesn’t matter to Him if we bow our head or close our eyes. He just wants to be humble, to be honest, and to be real. That is going to look different for each and every one of us.

I say all that to say – Don’t let the devil convince you that you’re going to sound silly if you pray out loud.
That’s a device of the enemy to keep us from using our most powerful tool given to us on earth.
To try and shut down our direct line of communication to the throne of God.
Don’t let that lying little voice in your head stop you.
You were created to be a prayer warrior for the Kingdom of God.

“When two of you get together on anything at all on earth and make a prayer of it, my Father in heaven goes into action. And when two or three of you are together because of me, you can be sure that I’ll be there.” – Matthew 18:18-20 (The Message)

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