God did great things through Paul; but do we ever consider the many believers who continually lifted up prayers on his behalf? In our passage, Paul thanks both God and the Corinthian believers for his deliverance. Paul is never shy in asking his brothers and sisters in Christ for prayer because he understands the power of intercession. Sometimes in the midst of our deepest struggles, we can find it difficult to reach out and ask someone to pray for us.

I love how Charles Bent defined intercessory prayer as “loving our neighbor on our knees.” Often our friends need to “borrow our faith” when their faith is failing. I recently had the opportunity to discover this when I led a leader’s retreat up in the mountains; it’s interesting to note that the theme was “Resurrected Life.” On Friday evening, one by one, each woman, including me, shared a present trial; it was difficult to be vulnerable and transparent, and many tears were shed throughout the room. We were open, honest, and dependent on God’s love, grace, and Word.

Early Saturday morning we gathered together in a large circle for prayer and each woman received comfort and encouragement. Being the leader, I made myself available to pray and minister; but the surprise came when this group asked if they could pray for me. I sat in a chair in the middle of the room surrounded by intercessors who prayed over me with such love, faith, and hope that it overwhelmed me. My burdens were immediately relieved, and my sorrows turned into joy. Although the problems still remained among us, our perspectives were transformed, and our hope for the future; was certain.

You might be going through something hard now. Don’t be a lone ranger. Give a friend or two a call and invite them over to pray for you; don’t be afraid to be real and lean on your circle for support. God has given us one another for comfort, power, and healing. “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective” (James 5:16).

Margy Hill

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