Read on to learn more about the privilege of prayer.
It wasn’t always easy for my son to talk to the In & Out employees. At first it caused minor panic to even consider walking towards the front counter. He’d balk when we’d ask him to grab more napkins. He’d look desperate if (God forbid) we’d ask him to order his own food. He’d look over at his brave older brother and say, “Will you come with me?”
When his older brother came he’d stand taller and feel braver. It’s not so scary.
Sometimes we need a little moral support.
The Privilege of Praying With Others
Over the last year I’ve taken on a new role in my church, in which I pray for people who request it during communion. (Well, sometimes I pray for people as they walk by even if they don’t request it, but that’s another story.)
A young couple who’s names I couldn’t remember asked me to pray for their sweet baby girl, named Rose, aptly wearing a rose-print dress.
A worried-looking woman I didn’t remember meeting before asked me to pray for a loved one who was going through a hard time.
A young family I knew well stopped to ask me to pray for them all…and mostly for sleep.
A busy young professional asked me to pray for his friend to have faith to submit her heart to God. And his friend came to me a moment later, with tears in her eyes, wondering aloud if God could want her.
Every time I pray with someone I catch my breath. What a beautiful privilege I am experiencing! I am being invited into their stories. Every prayer with each of these beloved children of God is a opportunity to enter into their stories for a moment and escort them to the throne of God in prayer.
Have you ever thought of prayer in that way?
Two or Three Gathered
“For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”
Why am I so quick to underestimate the privilege of joining with others in prayer? I’m only beginning to understand that one of the greatest gifts in the church is to take a loved ones prayer before the throne of God, ushering them into his presence, and saying, “Father, look! This one needs you.”
Our Undaunted Older Brother
“In that day you will ask in my name. I am not saying that I will ask the Father on your behalf. No, the Father himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God.”
John 16:26,27 NIV
Just as my son was brave because his older brother walked with him, we can be brave because of Jesus. If we have placed our trust in Jesus as our Savior, we can walk boldly up to the throne of God. Whether we are praying alone or with a friend, we never approach the throne of God alone. Desperate, needy, sad…happy, delighted, excited…or even angry, frustrated, and at the end of our rope, Jesus stands with us and prays for us.
“When we pray in Jesus’ name, we pray with his identity. …We speak with the voice of our Savior whenever we pray in his name. As improbable as it may seem, the Father has chosen so to anoint the heart, lips, and tongue of his people that when they pray, the voice of Jesus comes out. …This is why the Bible assures us that the Father is attentive to our prayers.”
Praying Backwards: Transforming Your Prayer Life By Beginning In Jesus’ Name by Bryan Chapell
A Welcoming God
“The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”
James 5:16 NIV
I’ve already changed my mind. The greatest gift in the Christian life isn’t that we can enter the presence of God in our prayer, but that he listens. There need be no fear or trembling as we step up to the Most Holy King of Kings. Because of that valiant older brother who stands by our side, we are God’s beloved. We are accepted. Our prayers are heard. Amen.
Bring It Home
Who can you pray for today?
Who can you pray with today?
It has been so good to go through this book on prayer with our small group. Pro tip: Read the Table of Contents when you begin. You’ll discover that every question you have will be answered in later chapters. 10/10. Highly Recommend!