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Monday, May 20, 2024

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Friends and Prayer

Friends and Prayer

By Amy Patsch

Amy Patsch
Amy Patsch

I feel very blessed when I am with friends sharing laughter and sometimes tears. I treasure my friends in my heart and pray for them often. I love those who I consider acquaintances, as well, though I may hold back a tad from them – but not from friends.

I have a friend who prays with me regularly every week. We meet for an hour. After we catch up on news we pray for all those who need healing and help. We pray for the churches we attend as well as the other churches in our area and across the United States. We pray for our government and our elections. We pray for the people and countries that are at war. But, most of all we pray for souls to come to know Jesus. And, we thank and praise God for all His answers to prayers and for His amazing grace to us.

What can truly change a troubled heart, or country, or world other than Jesus? My friend and I seek Jesus’ hand on the lives and the messes of this planet. We both believe that Jesus is the only answer that will really heal all.

When we pray on a regular basis with another person we are joining with their souls. As we open up our hearts and mouths to speak to our Father we expose our loves, sorrows, and concerns that are burrowed in the very depths of our souls. We bring forth pleas for healings and helps for sicknesses, children, marriages and hurts. We share so very much of our heart with God that if another person is praying with us then we are sharing our heart with them as well. Joint prayer is very intimate. 

There is a reason why husbands and wives are wise to pray together on a regular basis. The Holy Spirit is the master guide for our prayers as He searches the depths of our hearts while we are in prayer and so married couples that pray together are sharing thoughts and desires that may never come out across the dinner table. Our hearts are opened and bare during prayer. Even if we are unsure how to pray about a specific matter, the Holy Spirit guides and supplements our prayers.

In writing to the Romans, Paul the Apostle said, “Now in the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know what to pray for as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.”

We don’t have to be super prayers. Blessedly, Jesus intercedes for us as the Spirit is pleading the will of God to God. He hears our anguished pains and cries, along with our praises, and He perfectly takes them to the Father. 

My prayer partner is a friend of 22 years. We met while working for the same company. Eventually she came to the church my husband, Neil, and I attend and she and I both helped with the junior high youth group. We started weekly meeting for prayer after we both retired. 

Over the years we have met together for extensive Bible studies and we both know that we believe what the Bible teaches. Prayer now moves through us like a smooth running river. One of us will lift up prayers and then the other takes a turn lifting up what needs are on her heart. We keep prayer requests written in books by date so when we pray alone during the week we can again lift up those needs.

Holidays and special events interfere with our schedules occasionally but usually we can find another day in the week when we can meet to pray. For this past month this has not been the case. We have not been able to coordinate our schedules for four weeks. We both text each other prayer requests but that time of personal prayer together has not happened and I dearly miss it.

Setting aside a specific time for deep heart-tugging prayer is important not only to Christians but to God.  He surely looks on our diligence in prayer as progress in our Christian growth to become Holy as He is Holy. When else are we sitting before the Father for any extended length of time and waiting to hear a word of instruction from Him?  

When my prayer partner and I don’t meet, my prayers seldom reach the depth of our joint prayers. I encourage every praying Christian to find at least an occasional prayer partner and then watch as joint prayer grows your relationship with Jesus.

ED. NOTE: Amy Patsch writes from Ocean City. Email her at writerGoodGod@gmail.com.

Columnist

Amy Patsch writes religious and faith-based opinion content for the Cape May County Herald.

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