God got my attention last autumn about praying more with people. A lesson by Mike Desouza convicted me that I was not praying enough with other people – the book of Acts is full of it. For example ….
“They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers….. After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly…… Paul and Barnabas appointed elders for them in each church and, with prayer and fasting, committed them to the Lord, in whom they had put their trust……. When he had said this, he knelt down with all of them and prayed.” (Acts 1:14; 4:31; 14:23; 20:36 NIV)
Then, the book we have been reading together as a church (“Don’t just stand there, pray something!”) reminded me of the same theme – especially when I preached on Acts 4 last week. Convicted twice over I was.
Yesterday Je Vais and I had a mutually encouraging discipling time talking over life, the singles family group, and many other matters. At the end he reminded me that on the previous time we had met a week ago I had suggested that we pray together at our next meeting. I, of course, had forgotten. Convicted thrice I now was.
So we left the Red Brick Cafe in Wealdstone and walked around the area praying for a while. It was a purifying and uplifting experience. On finishing our prayer together we parted to go our different ways. I popped in to say “hello” to Jenny who runs her card shop from the In Shops on the High Street, and then walked home. Suddenly I realised that someone walking towards me was staring at me. The sun was in my eyes so I was not sure if this was a friendly stare or otherwise!
We drew near each other and I realised it was an old friend. I had lost touch with him, and had been thinking of him recently – hoping to invite him to my birthday party. Somehow I had lost all contact details for him. We chatted, and the first thing he told me was that five minutes earlier he had been talking about me to someone he was visiting.
We got caught up, he got invited to my party, and we exchanged updated contact details. None of this would have happened if Je Vias and I had not prayed together. Why do we pray together with people? There are many good reasons, but one is that it seems to open things up for God to do his stuff. Praying together provides openings for God’s providence.