Have you ever felt like you weren’t capable of doing what God called you to do? I’m thinking you answered yes. So come listen in on a surprise conversation I had with my Girlfriend in God, Mary.
I was in the restroom touching up my makeup before teaching a Bible study to a group of women. I was having one of those moments when I looked in the mirror and thoughts began swirling in my head. 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 the devil telling me about not being good enough, my cell phone rang. It was my friend Mary.
“I want you to know, that God interrupted me while I was cooking dinner and told me to pray for you,” Mary said. “Not only that, He told me to call and tell you I was praying for you.”
I was imagining Mary standing in her kitchen with spaghetti sauce simmering on the stove and stopping mid-stir. She probably argued with God and asked Him if it could wait until the sauce was done. But He persisted and she obeyed.
God wanted me to know that I was not going into battle alone. He had prompted Mary to stand in the gap for me—to struggle in prayer for me and strive together with me. In that one moment, Mary and I locked our shield of faith through words and marched into battle together.
The prophet Ezekiel recorded these words from God in Ezekiel 22:30: “I looked for someone among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found no one.”
These words were referring to God looking for someone to pray for, or stand in the gap for sinful Jerusalem, but I believe we can apply them to our lives as well. Did you notice that God said, “I looked for someone”? It could be that you are that someone, or I am that someone, who could stand in the gap for another person.
Paul understood the power of standing in the gap. He implored his friends to pray for him: “I urge you, brothers and sisters, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me” (Romans 15:30). “Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should” (Ephesians 6:19-20).
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.”3 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.4
Agreeing to pray for someone is not simply a nice platitude to let someone know we’re thinking about them or a pat on the back to cheer someone on. When we tell someone we’ll pray for them, we are agreeing to put on the armor and head to the front lines of battle on their behalf. Click & Tweet!
Many ancient shields had brackets attached to the sides. These brackets were a type of latch that soldiers used to lock their shields together during battle. When locked together, the soldiers moved as one, forming a barricade against the enemy. Alone, the shield was a small defense. Hooked together, they were a human wall. Do you see the significance? When we lock arms in prayer with our friends, we are locking our shields together and forming a powerfully strong wall of defense. That’s what Mary did for me that night through the phone call. That’s what we can do for each other.
Stop right now and ask God who He is calling you to pray for today. Then send her a text or give her a call and let her know.
If you have a prayer request, click on the comment button and share. You don’t have to go into great detail. Just a name could be enough. Then pray for the commenter above your own.
Heavenly Father, show me who You want me to stand in the gap for this week. When I tell someone I’m going to pray for him or her, help me to know what to pray and when to pray. In Jesus’ Name, Amen
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