Prayer is like dominos. If it weren’t for prayer, you wouldn’t be reading this. If Chris hadn’t invited Ann and me to become her prayer partners six years ago there wouldn’t be a word on this page. If Mary had not invited Chris to join her thriving prayer call 22 years ago when they were in Tampa, she may not have even known its' power or had a desire to pass it on. If Debbie and Heather hadn’t invited Chris to help with the prayer committee for the Just Give Me Jesus conference, she would not have had the boldness to begin a weekly prayer call that has fueled their 20+ year friendship. You get the picture. So, let’s talk about praying together and why it needs to happen.
Research has shown that most people are 10% likely to complete a goal when they go at it alone. When there’s a specific accountability appointment, the likelihood skyrockets to 95%. Accountability is POWERFUL. So, if I desire to live a life where I “pray more and worry less” or, I tell a friend in crisis I’ll be praying for them…there’s only a TEN PERCENT CHANCE I will follow through. However, if I schedule to pray at 3PM on Monday with a friend for these specific things; there’s a 95% chance it’s happening. Do the math. It is what it is. Vulnerability
I run an 8-minute mile, can do 10 strict pull-ups, and squat 300 lbs on a good day. None of that is true. Of course, nobody would have known I was lying except the 6AM squad at my Cross Fit gym. We have a set time and place of ACCOUNTABILITY to meet and there’s no way around how humbling it is to just show up and give it your best. You see how fast my mile REALLY is and I see you wince in pain as you try to touch your toes except you can’t. You see my leftover makeup from yesterday sweating down my face as I catch my breath, and I watch you puke and lose your breakfast…or I may see you quit when it gets hard. One of us might drop a cuss word when we’re angry or it hurts. It takes a considerable amount of courage to be vulnerable enough to put yourself out there and start working out with someone. I BELIEVE IT TAKES EVEN MORE COURAGE TO START PRAYING HONESTLY WITH A PARTNER ABOUT WHAT’S REALLY GOING ON. “Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ.” -Galatians 6:2 When we honestly approach the LORD in prayer with fears, desires, pain, goals, questions, and our burdens with a prayer partner; it is walking in obedience to Christ. Jesus followers: just do it!!! Healing
There’s an important factor to include in though: SIN. Carrying burdens together to the throne of grace is a beautiful thing. When the variable of confession is included in the equation, it’s a masterpiece. “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed…” James 5:16 When God attaches a promise to a command - like healing from the disease that is my unique brand of sin struggle - that's gonna be a “yes sirrrr” for me. However, sharing the truth about my secret sin and asking for prayer through confession of it is straight up TOUGH. “Forgive me for my sins, Lord” is a touch more comfortable to say out loud than “Forgive me for being jealous of my friend, Lord. I want to be fully happy for them but I’m struggling with wishing that was my circumstance.” “Lead me not into temptation” is one thing. “Father I’m struggling with wanting to escape” or “God I feel so angry! Please help me forgive this person because I’m really struggling with malice and rage at the moment” is a little harder to spit out. But if we need specific healing and freedom from sin, my experience has been that praying specifically over a struggle is effective medicine! If God has stirred your heart, in any way as you read this, to pray with someone, please initiate a prayer meeting with a friend! Like right now. It doesn’t have to be regular prayer with a partner, yet. But it could be the beginning of something like that. Any prayer is better than no prayer or better than just thinking, “I should pray.” More times than not, God will bring to mind the specific person He is calling you to invite to prayer. Right now. So be the domino and let the Lord start a new domino effect through your obedience.