Impacting Cities & Communities thru Prayer
A Community of Prayer Champions, Praying Churches, Prayed-for Communities
Preparing Yourself for a Prayer Partner
Preparing Yourself for a Prayer Partner
We should desire to be prepared to be a prayer partner. When we are, we can encourage someone else because the Love of God constrains us. II Cor 5:14.
A key purpose of having a prayer partner is: To encourage your prayer partner in the Lord. Heb 3:13 (KJV) “But exhort one another daily…”
We need to understand there are factors that affect relationships and praying together is a form of relationship.
Let’s start by examining what roles affect our Christian relationship. In building a prayer relationship with others, we should focus on the role of God’s Holy Spirit:
When we all pull together, together, together
When we all pull together, how happy we’ll be.
For Your work is my work
And our work is God’s work.
When we all pull together, how happy we’ll be.
(note: Pulling together is very important)
With this approach in mind, we should ask ourselves a question about our motives in praying with someone else, because if the motives are not in line with God’s Word, they can block our following God’s example. A question in looking at motives that we should consider -- Is having a prayer partner about ourselves—our “personal needs”, or do we really want to join together with others in a way that can encourage them? If we do want to join together with others in prayer, then why not ask the Lord’s help in following His example of encouragement? See: Phil 2:1-5: If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies. Fulfill ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.
Now let’s move forward and look at personal preparation for praying with others. There are two steps:
Moving forward in preparation in praying with others, let’s look at some common issues frequently faced about prayer, and look at what God’s word says:
Is our fear of being open rooted in our struggle to keep our feelings private? Are you afraid to share problems, such as ones that are very personal?
God’s word does say: “confess your faults one to another, and pray for another that you may be healed.” James 5: 16 It is easy to say that verse, and many of us have encountered issues from other people when we have opened up about faults. If God says to do it, then God will find a way to help us obey his word. .
God’s word tells us that God’s job is to hear and answer. I John 5:14-15 It is difficult to do that when we have learned to control our destiny, or at least try to.
Getting into God’s Word and putting it into practice; and asking God’s help helps us to open our hearts to the Lord. Most likely, when you look at yourself on various issue points, listed above, you may find they actually apply to each of us in one way or another. What we are focusing on here is a personal look at the fears and issues that we may have. Then once we know where we stand in relation to what God’s word says, we can ask God’s help to align our hearts with His word. There are the real issues in our heart that affect our reaching out to others—the Bible encourages us to reach out to others—a brother, sister, or friend in the Lord; and God can and will help us. That help comes when we obey God’s word and brings His blessings.
Unfortunately, so many of us are caught up in self focus for various reasons, which hinder our encouraging someone else—However with God’s help, we can overcome a self-focus; and reach out to someone. It does take a commitment to do so.
After you have taken time to prepare yourself, there are a few other important issues that may relate to standards, should also need to be considered, which will affect our relationship in praying with others. You might call these “basic standards for being a prayer partner”. Consider the list below -- are these issues true of yourself?
A word about confidentiality: The nature of concerns shared in prayer, is often extremely confidential. Confidentiality must be protected. The protection of confidentiality encourages trust and offers a safe haven.
It is important to realize that if we make a judgment or criticize what is shared, those judgments and criticism can hinder another person’s sense of trust and ultimately destroy the safe haven, confidentiality, which had been built on trust. It can create a situation where we put up guards and are not free to receive what God has for us. Judgment and criticism will block the work of God’s mercy and purpose and can grieve the Holy Spirit. (See Rom 14 vs 13).
Friends, as God enables you to pray with others, you will discover that you are praying with greater direction and purpose, which will help you encourage your prayer partner as well. You may also see your Christian walk grow closer to the Lord in the process, especially as you focus to encourage others through prayer; whether directly praying with them; or during your personal time with the Lord, carrying their burden to the Lord on their behalf. It will help you grow spiritually. A result in praying-together, would be seen in people growing in their relationship to the Lord.
In conclusion, we encourage you to make a commitment to pray with others, and let God’s Word help you.
Reflection on this lesson:
*Why would understanding God’s word be important in praying with someone else?
*Why is it important to look at our personal attitudes before we pray with someone?
*What harm may happen, if we allow gossip to occur? How does this affect other’s sense of confidentiality? See Prov 11:13
*What happens to a relationship if prayer is all about ME?
*Why is it important that we understand God’s truths that are in the Word of God, and have them in our heart?
*Does it help to base our prayer requests on God’s Word?
*Spell the word Joy out. What could the letters stand for?
J stands for_______
O stands for_______
Y stands for _______
Keeping that order in focus can help us in prayer with others.
(Answer to Joy: Jesus, Others, You. Take note: the third letter of JOY represents You, which comes last.)
I pray that you may be invigorated and strengthened with all power according to the might of His glory, to exercise every kind of endurance and patience with joy (col 1:11). Also, that He refresh your spirit as you feed on His Word. In Jesus' Name, Amen. Susan Schrader
I will keep not only you in prayer, but will extend my prayers for all of us involved in the Pray! Network for who knows when we are weak at any moment that can happen. How often are we interrupted in our prayer time. What thoughts run thorough our minds without notice, and we turn our thoughts toward something else or even drift into a sleep like the disciples who went to pray with Jesus. He ask us to do the same. And then to pray for others. This will make us have to keep on our toes as satan (I won't capitalize the s) will try to updump so we will give up. We must stand strong. Let the love of Jesus have his authority over the situation and He will upheave satan's plan.
I love the James 5:16 reference. This verse shows us that prayer with others is to be taken seriously, not lightly. Part of preparing ourselves for a prayer partner must be, I think, our ability to let go of the image we all portray and to really be vulnerable enough to admit weakness and confess sin. That kind of relationship isn't going to happen with everyone (nor should it) - but it won't happen with ANYONE unless our hearts are first in a place where we are desperate above all things to walk with God and willing to be open and vulnerable as part of that process.
It's not that hard in America to belong to a good church and still not really share your life with anyone. We live in such disjointed worlds (see Randy Frazee, "Making Room for Life") that the people we see in church typically are not a major part of the rest of our lives. Even in most small groups, the level of sharing tends to be somewhat surface. How many times have we taken prayer requests in our groups, only to find that they're all about family and friends, with no personal vulnerability and sharing taking place?
If prayer partners are to be any different, we must first get our hearts to the place where we are willing - even eager - to be known to the core. Of course, there's a depth beyond which only God can know us - but we have to be willing to drop the images and strip off the masks. No one can force us to do this - it must come from a deep realization that God made us for this kind of community, and a deep desire to have that kind of relationship. Only when that becomes more important than the maintaining of our image and reputation will we be truly ready for a real prayer partnership.
I also found lesson number five to be effective as a preparation to pray with a group. thank you, Lewis for this contribution.
Thank you--I know your words will encourage others-Blessings