Friend to Friend
I am so glad that God gave us girlfriends who will struggle with us in prayer. Paul wasn’t a girlfriend in God, but he certainly understood struggling together in prayer.
He wrote: “Dear brothers and sisters, I urge you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to join in my struggle by praying to God for me” (Romans 15:30 NLT).
The New Testament was originally written in Greek and sometimes looking at the original definitions of the words can give us great insight. The Greek word Paul uses for struggle in Romans 15:30 is sunagonizomai, which means “to struggle in company of, i.e., to be a partner (assistant), strive together with.” The root word means “to endeavor to accomplish something: fight, labor fervently, strive,” for example, to compete for a prize or to contend with an adversary.
Prayer for another person is not simply a nice platitude or a pat on the back. I’ll be honest, when I’m having a difficult time and someone says, “I’m thinking about you” or “I’m sending positive thoughts your way,” I don’t feel encouraged. I don’t need happy thoughts sent my way. I need prayer sent God’s way!
When we tell someone that we will pray for them we are agreeing to put on the armor and head to the front lines of battle on their behalf. We are locking our shields and making our appeals with other warriors on someone else’s behalf.
Many ancient shields had brackets attached to the sides. These brackets were a type of latch that soldiers used to lock shields during battle. When the shields were locked together, the soldiers moved as one force, forming a barricade against the enemy.
Alone, the shield was a small defense. Together they formed a human wall. Do you see the significance? When we lock arms in prayer with others, we are locking our shields together and forming a powerfully strong fortress of defense.
One night I was in the restroom touching up my makeup before speaking to several hundred women. I was having one of those moments when I looked in the mirror and thoughts began to swirl in my mind. What am I doing here? What do I possibly have to say to these women that could make any difference in their lives? I am not capable of walking to that podium tonight.
While I was mulling over the lies and the fiery darts Satan was shooting into my flimsy armor, my cell phone rang.
“Hi Sharon. This is Mary (My GiG Mary). Where are you?”
“Actually, I’m standing in the restroom at a speaking engagement getting ready to walk out on the stage. I forgot to turn off my cell phone!”
“I want you to know,” Mary continued, “God interrupted me while I was cooking dinner and told me to pray for you. Not only that, He told me to call you…now.”
I was imagining Mary standing in her kitchen with spaghetti sauce simmering on the stove and stopping mid-stir. There might have been a little conversation with God that went something like this:
Mary: Could you just wait a minute God? The sauce is almost done.
God: Call Sharon and pray for her.
Mary: OK, OK, I’ll do it now.
There was great power in Mary’s instant obedience. If she had waited, I would not have known that she was praying. Not only did God prompt her to pray at that moment, He wanted her to tell me that she was doing so. Why? God knew that there was power in her prayer, and He wanted me to know that I was not going into battle alone. He had called Mary to “struggle with me,” to “strive together in battle,” to lock arms with me and march into victory.
Who is God calling you to pray for today?
I’d like to pray for you. Leave a comment and let’s struggle together in prayer. I encourage you to go to the comments page and link arms with your other Girlfriends in God and pray for them
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for giving us girlfriends in God to pray for us and with us. Thank you that you called women to join together as mighty prayer warriors with shields linked together, marching into battle as one unified force. In Jesus’ Name, Amen