Praying with people in their time of need is a good thing. It helps us grow in our compassion for others as we expand our focus beyond our own concerns, conflicts, and problems. We all experience hills and valleys as we venture along our life journey. No one escapes trouble. Eventually, it finds us all. Prayer is a way of lifting one another up, encouraging each other, and loving others as God loves us. Just like praying with thanksgiving in our heart, praying with others helps us find rest from the difficulties and challenges we face, individually, in this world. In that momentary rest, the Lord renews our strength (Isaiah 40:31).
Often times, the solution to a problem or challenge is staring us right in the face. We just need a short breather to see it. Putting our hand on someone’s shoulder and taking time out from our personal busyness to pray with them helps us get that momentary rest. We shift our focus from ourselves to someone else. In light of what they are grappling with, we may realize that whatever we’re facing isn’t that difficult. We certainly are reminded that with God nothing is impossible (Luke 1:37). I’ve often been blessed to hear God answer my own prayer once I have taken time to pray with someone else.
When we take time to pray with others, we demonstrate God’s love and grace to those we are praying alongside. Praying with someone in the moment is far better, in my humble opinion, then waiting to pray for them later. After all, they are hurting right now. You wouldn’t wait to bandage a wound of someone you love. Why hesitate to pray?
The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. James 5:16 (NIV)
Lord, help me be better at praying for others. Encourage me not to hesitate to pray for people when they share their concerns, conflicts, and problems with me. Help me recognize that these are divine appointments and that You have equipped me for a time such as this, to pray for and with my brothers and sisters. To You, be all praise and glory. In Jesus’ name. Amen.