Prayer: Helping Them Stand

“. . . he will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.” 2 Corinthians 1:10-11

All I can do is pray. If you’re like me, you’ve thought or spoken those words at some point in your life. We forget that we are indeed helping when we pray for others. We forget how vital prayer is.

The apostle Paul wrote the words above after suffering extreme hardship and pressure so great that he described it as “far beyond our ability to endure” (2 Cor. 1:8). He said he despaired even of life and actually felt in his heart the sentence of death.

I wonder where he would have been without the “prayers of many?” Could the help he received through those prayers be the reason he was able to rely on God’s strength instead of his own?

John Wesley said, “Bear up the hands that hang down, by faith and prayer; support the tottering knees.” I’m reminded of Moses when the Israelites battled the Amalekites. As long as he held up the staff of God in his hands, the Israelites won. When he lowered his hands, the enemy began winning. When Moses grew tired, “Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset.” (Exodus 17:12b)

Do we know people whose hands are hanging down, whose knees are now tottering? Is it obvious that without help they’ll surely fall? You may feel powerless to change their situation or help in any significant way, but don’t underestimate the support you can give them through your prayers. I’ve felt the support of prayers before, and it’s powerful. I felt as if I were being carried.

Are there some we know who need to be carried right now by our prayers? Let’s be faithful to do it. It may be our very prayers that enable them to stand another day.

“I urge you brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me.” Romans 15:30

*Have you ever felt carried by the prayers of others before?

*Flickr photo by anna gutermuth

Comments

  1. Definitely. More than once. Great blog Cheryl.

  2. I’d like to think I’m 100% effectual in praying without ceasing. Alas, even after these long & many years of serving the Lord, I still depend on my own devices far too often. But I have learned that bookending everything with prayer is powerful when I’m faithful to begin & end there.

    Yes … the prayers of family & friends have often made a huge difference in my life. I thank God for them (people and prayers alike)!

  3. Jimmy, Dani, and I were carried by abundant prayer during Dani’s nine-day hospital stay. In some ways it felt a little like heaven; the peace amidst our storm was palpable at times.

    Great reminder of the power of prayer and God’s faithfulness to hear and respond as only He can.

  4. Thanks, Debbie. Kathleen, I like the thought of bookending everything in prayer. Great image. Nancy, am so thankful our prayers helped carry you through Dani’s crisis. Yours is a very recent example — thanks for sharing!

  5. There have been many times when I felt the power of others’ prayers. Especially on those occasions when there’s no other way to describe the calming peace I know despite the chaos swirling around me. What a privilege to give one another our knees and petitions before the throne . . . a posture I hope to always possess and behalf of God’s children.

    peace~elaine

  6. Most definitely! Prayer is both powerful and palpable.

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