Lesson Learned About Prayer Through Community
As many of you know, my husband and I adopted Benjamin from birth. The entire process took over three years, but the “waiting game” was almost two years. We struggled…hard. We experienced anger, heartache, doubt, and guilt through those two years. During this time, we had a village praying for us (notice I said the word for).
One time, when I was sharing our frustrations with my friend Kayci, she said something I will never forget. She said, “I am praying with you.” It actually made me stop and think, mainly because I had never heard it before. So many times, people had said they were praying FOR us. I had never heard someone say they were praying WITH us. That was the beginning of a prayer journey for me that I never had thought I would take.
To be 100% transparent, I don’t have the best prayer life. I used to have a prayer journal and make time, but even then I would fall asleep. However, hearing Kayci use the word “WITH” slowly changed my perspective of prayer and community. I think the word “FOR” is great if you are speaking a general, broad prayer over something/someone. This new word “WITH” in my prayer life means something different. It means that my prayer for a person has to be interactive. It isn’t just going home and praying for the person before I go to bed. It means that I need to reach deeper into the lives of those in my faith community and neighborhood. It means communicating with those that are struggling and remembering to reach out to them beyond the initial contact.
Verses that focus on prayer:
”Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.”
”My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.”
”Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”
“The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.”
So how has this word “WITH” changed my perspective?
1. I no longer try to assume that someone is doing okay, even if that person says they are.
2. When I think about someone who I know is struggling with something, I tell them. It’s difficult to feel your support group if they are silent. This was huge during our adoption, so I want to give that back to our faith community.
3. I attempt to reach out to people I haven’t seen in a while. I know it makes me feel special when someone notices that I’m not there. Why not use that tool to connect with community and see if a “praying with someone” opportunity presents itself?
4. It made me think about who I am praying about. Am I praying for the people I should? Am I only praying for those who are in my home or around me? Something that I want to commit to this school year is praying for community leaders and church leaders. These leaders interact with those around us every day. We need to be praying for the people who pour into us and our community.
5. Literally praying WITH someone is always better than praying for them when you get home to do it.
I hope that this blog is a blessing to you about prayer, faith, and community! Perhaps you will gain a new perspective just as I did!