As we have been learning over the past month at Tenth, our spiritual journeys were never designed to be lived alone. We believe in building community and growing spiritually together, and because of this, we are better together.
We are better together when we pray for one another. The first message that I ever preached in my life was Easter 1990 in a part of the world that was 85% Hindu believing, 14% followers of Islam, and less than 1% other which included Christianity. It did not have a very eloquent title, but it was called Prayer Produces Intimacy and Intimacy Produces Unity. The premise of this statement was simply that when we slow down and listen to our Father's voice and truly pray for the people that God has placed on our hearts, we will grow in intimacy with our Father God and we will be more connected to those He has drawn us to pray for. Over time, this unites us deeper in God's purposes, as scripture says that God commands a blessing when brothers and sisters dwell together in unity. Jesus reveals his prayer passion for his disciples and for all believers as encapsulated in His intimacy with His Father in John 17.
In this excruciatingly difficult pandemic season that we are in, we miss out on so much of the emotional and physical benefits of being together, but we do not need to lose out on the spiritual advantages of prayer and intimacy with God and people. On my very first missions trip, I was given a prayer partner to pray for every day for three months. I did not know this person before I left, but when we came together after three months of daily praying for each other, we had an inexplicable sense of knowing each other.
Prayer, like nothing else, can produce a closeness or intimacy in a few significant ways:
As we have just finished up a series with a call to action of being better together, let’s be reminded that we are always better together when we pray.
As a church, we walk alongside 30 local and global workers in addition to having 20 global partnerships each representing thousands and thousands of workers dedicated to bringing the good news to others. In a recent Just 58 event, we were updated about the situation in Lebanon through our partner FEAL. We walked away from that time sobered but hopeful, and feeling more connected to God's purposes in the Middle East, more connected to God himself, as well as to the dear friends on the zoom call.
Picture above is a screenshot from a Just 58 event featuring Craig Greenfield from Alongsiders.