I was attending a women’s retreat with my friend who was the guest speaker. We knew no one except each other.
The praise and worship were wonderful, reminding me of sweet times I had experienced in the past. It had, in fact, been years since I had had an opportunity to get lost in worship and simply enjoy the presence of the Lord.
At one session, recognizing there were people in need of prayer, the leader said she wasn’t going to do an altar call. Instead, she was asking those who wanted prayer to raise their hands. The ladies around them were then encouraged to pray for and with them.
I looked around to see if there was a hand raised nearby. Not seeing any, I kept on worshipping the Lord. But for some reason I knew God was asking me to pray for someone in the room, someone I didn’t know.
I looked again and simply chose a lady nearby, walked over, touched her shoulders to let her know I was there, and just started praying for her. Afterwards we shared a hug and I returned to my chair.
It’s so important.
I love moments like these, moments when I hear God speak and respond. Moments spent with my sisters in Christ. Moments spent praying for one another.
Back in the day, this was more the normal scenario. During or after service, we would gather near the front and pray for each other. When someone prays for you, they are actually picking up your heavy load or burden and helping you carry it.
I’m not sure why churches have stopped doing this. Most likely it’s because service times are getting shorter. There’s just not enough time to “tarry around the altar” as we used to.
The illustration says it all.
I don’t even remember where I found this picture, but it sure does show why we pray for each other, doesn’t it? We pray for each other because it’s tough to do life alone. And when we have a burden or problem or situation that weighs us down, that’s when we really need the help of the body of Christ.
We are exhorted to “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2). Today I got to share someone’s burden. I hope she was blessed. But one thing I know for sure: I certainly was.
Be a blessing.
My encouragement today is to look for a need, look for a burden to share. Pray for someone. Hug a friend and allow her to cry on your shoulder. Run an errand for them or provide a meal. All are very tangible ways to help carry their load.
Much love to you.