We all approach praying together differently but one thing I’ve noticed is that “prayer time” is often the only time we pray together, as if we can’t pray together if we’re not all sitting in a circle sharing our latest news. And in all honesty – praying for one another or praying in groups can be awkward at times. Asking for prayer can feel like the biggest blow to our pride, or the biggest opportunity to share gossip, or the time where you feel like you have nothing “important” enough to share. Praying for someone can feel like we’re just going through a list of supposed needs and hoping that they feel like we’ve done a good job covering everything. But praying for one another is so crucial and so wonderful; we have to look at it through a different lens.
Praying for our brother or sister in Christ is like picking them up, holding them close to our hearts, and bringing them to the feet of our loving and gracious Father. It’s begging for him to move in their lives because we know that he will. It’s trusting that he loves them infinitely more than we could ever love them or even comprehend. Prayer is not about finding the right words to solve someone’s problem or making sure we present the right solution to God to consider. When we pray for each other we release the need to fix or control someone’s circumstances, the need to have all the answers or be the fulfiller of all the need, and we can truly love them by giving them to the one who can do all of those things. We’re not affirming someone’s Amazon wish list or randomly throwing out facts about a person up at God. We are interceding for them, coming to our good Father and asking for him to work and love our brother or sister and asking for help to love them well.
Are we praying for each other, really praying? Are we carrying each other to our Heavenly Father and interceding on each other’s behalf? Prayer shouldn’t be restricted to the last few minutes we meet together; it should be a part of who we are as a community. When someone shares something that they’re struggling with, that God is teaching them, are we pausing to pray? When we find out good news, are we pausing to praise God together? When relational tensions arise, are we pausing to lay our pride aside and pray for each other?
Prayer is important. Praying for one another with one another is important. We are utterly dependent on God for everything: the breath in our lungs, the things we’re good at, the people we are called to love. May our hearts cling to Christ through prayer, this beautiful language of dependence, as we learn to pursue the Jesus life together.