The members of a faith community can strengthen our determination to heal, can link their prayers to ours, and can restore us to faith. They can encircle us in caring and love.
Pray to God with all your heart and soul, then gather up your might to meet the
challenges that lie ahead. Prayer is not a passive activity. Prayer alters us. It awakens us. Our eyes begin to notice beauty where we never noticed it before. Our hearts begin to feel compassion we never knew we had. Our priorities shift. As we talk to God, we receive the encouragement to live up to the potential inside us. Soon we start to see beyond ourselves into the world that is waiting for our help.
I believe God is listening. And I believe God answers us. God’s answer to our prayers may be very different from the answer we were searching for. God’s reply might come as the strength to fight on. It may come as the courage to face what we have been fearing. God’s answer may be the ability to accept what we have been denying. Or it may appear as P in the face of despair. God is neither distant nor deaf. We are not alone. God is present in our lives. When we stop bargaining with God and start opening up our souls to God, our prayers suddenly start working. We can pray for strength and receive strength. Prayer is ultimately an experience, not a request. It is a sense of being connected, of
being part of something larger than ourselves. It is an endeavor to be in the presence of God.
Praying with a community alters us. Often when life hurts we pray by ourselves and
assume that we are alone in our pain. When we enter a community to pray our eyes open up. We see that we are not alone in our pain—there are others who suffer too. And we also realize that we are not alone in the world, there are dozens of people praying for us, extending their arms to help. Suddenly the nature of our prayers begins to change. We stop drowning in self-pity. We stop praying for ourselves alone. Before long we begin adding others to our prayers. We begin praying for our world. We begin to see our own troubles in a new light. Perhaps things aren’t as bad as they seemed after all. Sometimes a community’s prayers can literally save a life.
I personally have established my faith communities through Women’s Ministry, Life Group and throughout McGregor Baptist Church. I pray you have a faith community! If not, please join us and establish one as soon as possible. With the challenges of life, I cannot image what my life would be like without my prayer warriors!
Rejoice in hope; be patient in affliction; be persistent in prayer. Romans 12:12