Struggling Together in Prayer

“I urge you, brothers, 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 NIV).

 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 the power of praying for our friends.

He wrote: “I urge you, brothers, 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 NIV). “Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, 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 6:18-20 NIV).

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 the 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 thing to say or a pat on the back. It is more than a “God bless Suzie.” When we tell someone that we will pray for them we are agreeing to put on the armor of God (Ephesians 6) and head to the front lines of battle on her behalf.

Many ancient shields had brackets attached to the sides. These brackets were a type of latch that soldiers could use 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 several 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, the fiery darts Satan was shooting into my mind, my cell phone rang.

“Hello.”

Hi Sharon.  This is Mary. (My Griflreinds in God )  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 imagined 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:

“Call Sharon and pray for her”, God might have said.

“Could you just wait a minute God? The sauce is almost done.”

“Call Sharon and pray for her,” God repeated.

“Ok, Ok, I’ll do it now,” she sighed.

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 prompted 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 shields with me and march into victory.

 Let’s Pray

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 hooked together, marching into battle as one unified force. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 Now It’s Your Turn

Is there someone God is calling you to pray for today?

If so, why not give him or her a call or send an e-mail to let the person know.

Better yet, e-mail them the prayer or pray for them over the phone!

While you’re praying, I’d love for you to pray for my ministry, and I’d love to pray for you. Just leave a comment below and tell me how I can pray for you today. Then I want to encourage you to come back to this blog post (www.localhost/sjold)  tomorrow and pray for your other sisters who have shared their heart. OK? OK!

 Want More? 

Do you ever feel like you don’t know what to pray? One of the ways I pray for people is to pray Scripture over them. On my website, I have laminated Scripture prayer cards that you can tuck on your Bible. Check them out on the bookstore page.

38 Responses to Struggling Together in Prayer

  1. Karen June 20, 2012 at 3:48 pm #

    Thank you so much for these encouraging words! Please pray that our family will make Godly decisions about how to spend our precious time together with our teenage daughters this summer. May we hear and follow God’s guidance as we make choices about colleges and activities and friends and most importantly, that we would spend time with God and together as a family during this busy time. Thank you for your prayers!

  2. Sue June 20, 2012 at 3:57 pm #

    Sharon,
    Can’t tell you what it meant to me to see todays post. Please pray for God to continue to strengthen me so that can be positive influence on my children. Pray for my child who needs a new duty station very soon and can move on with his life in a positive direction – toward Christ. I have let satan fill my mind with worry when I know that God is in control.

    Sue

  3. Bea Garcia June 20, 2012 at 4:04 pm #

    Good Morning Sharon,

    I am always the one to sent out a prayer request for my Girlfriends but these last days I so desperately needed to hear this devotion. I just started a new job or should I say I came back to the command I left almost three years ago after being here 20 plus years. It is a Military command and I used to be the Commanding Officer’s Secretary before I left but now I was put in the Administration office. This office consists of mostly sailors and a few Officers and I have to remember that they are not like me (the love I have for Our God). My Staff said to be patient as to what I am going to do but in the meantime I am here in this office. The language spoken here is unbearable and each day I never know what mood they will be in. I walk in and say “Good Morning!” but maybe one person who is civilian will answer back. I have been in tears for the last two days so I run away from here and go help another co-worker in another building. I continually pray that God would give me the words and patience but the “old me” occationally wants to come out with words that I don’t want to say. I sure needed to read this this morning. I am really not one to ask for prayer all the time since I think I can handle all my situations..Boy! Am I wrong! I know I should ask my Girlfriends to pray for me because I feel the ugliness wants to come out. I don’t like the quiet treatment either. I don;t know how to handle this situation without seeming like the “new lady who wants to change everything?” Thank you for your daily devotions.

    • Sharon June 20, 2012 at 5:34 pm #

      Bea, It is an honor to pray for you.

  4. ana June 20, 2012 at 4:17 pm #

    Thank God for our girlfriends!I really meant this.God uses people to reach out to me especially in times when I feel like I have to tackle life all by myself.please pray for my fast recovery post surgery.I need to become stronger physically, spiritually and emotionally.I need these strengths to prepare me to get back to work and ready to fave whatever it’s waiting for me. Thank you heavenly Father for your unconditional love that you show me everyday, in the previous name of you Son Jesus.Amen.

    • Sharon June 20, 2012 at 5:32 pm #

      You’re not alone! God hears you. God sees you. I join you in prayer today.

  5. Candace June 20, 2012 at 4:18 pm #

    Thank you for this post. I praise God for people of God who are in tune with His Spirit and are obedient, like your friend Mary. What a blessing. Bless God for your ministry, I pray God’s hand to continue to be on you and your family and ministry, that He would continue to bless you indeed, enlarge, keep His hand upon you and keep you from evil that you may not cause pain. Please lift me up in prayer that I set my face on my God and allow Him to propel me forward into His destiny and purpose for my life. I desire to be prepared, have the right mind set, prayerful and shielded with the armor of God. Thank you!

    • Sharon June 20, 2012 at 5:31 pm #

      Thank you so much for your prayers! I prayed for you today as well. Let’s det our faces on God together!

  6. Lalitha June 20, 2012 at 5:41 pm #

    Dear Sharon
    Please pray for my sister Jill who moved to Canada with 2 boys who are 23 & 16yrs old. 22 yr.old being a special child(handicap)& she is having lots of rough time with him. 16 yrs.old is equally has no understanding to adjust with his brother.Please pray that my sister & husband will find an appropriate school & church to get involved & get some encouragement & help.Thank you so much!!!!

  7. Nancy June 20, 2012 at 5:44 pm #

    Sharon, I have a girlfriend, or I thought, who I shared confidences with who has shared these with some people lately that will bring harm to our ministry. Well, I know God is in control, but that I either so terribly misjudged her or possibly that she is ill is tearing me up. My husband and I would like to ask specifically that God would fight this battle for us. We have walked through some tough times so I know if there is a lesson to learn I will get through it with Grace. It would be nice to not have to do that. And there are innocent people on the fringes that we are concerned about. I appreciate the opportunity to post this and I promise to return tomorrow to pray for the others listed.

  8. Anita June 20, 2012 at 6:28 pm #

    I was sent this by my cousin this morning and I had been asking God for prayer partners so to speak, I am standing in the Gap for my Marriage and see the wonderful work God is doing in this everyday, I’m praying for the final Mountains to be moved, the lies that the enemy is attacking my husband with and to open his eyes to God and everything he has to offer and to give me the patience and strength to not interfere with Gods plan. I feel I need the help of others prayers to push this mountain into the abyss, and it was confirmed when I received this in my e-mail. I thank you for following Gods plan and giving all of us a place to go to to pray for and be prayed for. God Bless All

  9. Deanna June 20, 2012 at 7:56 pm #

    Thank you for your wonderful encouraging words and I pray God continues to bless your life. Please pray for me and my family. My daughter and her husband are separated at this time and have a troubled teenager. My son and his wife as well are fighting the demons of separation, lost love, and the world’s influence. And pray for me that I would be able to be a bright light for them and others. And pray for my niece who is expecting a son in Oct., last year in Sep. their son died at birth. Please pray for a healthy baby this time. Thank you.

    Deanna

    • Sharon June 21, 2012 at 2:21 am #

      Deanna: I pray God will keep his hand on each one of your family members and the many changes in their lives.

  10. Marilou Kanis June 20, 2012 at 10:18 pm #

    I’m praying for you all and your ministry, and will cont. to pray. My most precious husband, of 36 years, died on March 14th, and I miss him so very, very much.For the last 10 yrs., we were together 24/7, so that is why I feel so alone and it is so quiet now. The Lord is so faithful and is with me one day at a time and I am very thankful! His grace is truly enough, thank You Jesus! Please stand with me in this loss and greiving. Also, please pray for our daughter & her husband, Melissa & Gary. Gary’s Mom passed away last night, such a short time after losing her Dad. Both of our precious family did go Home to be with our Jesus!!!! We are so very thankful for that!! I’m just even more homesick for Heaven now!. GIG is such a blessing to me and I thank our God for you all!

    • Sharon June 21, 2012 at 2:20 am #

      Marilou, I pray God will fill in all the empty spaces in your heart with more of Himself. It sounds like you had a wonderful 36 years.

  11. Deb June 20, 2012 at 11:37 pm #

    Dear Sharon, Thank you for your ministry. I am really enjoying reading your blog. I need prayer for the confusion in my mind today as I have some choices to make. I want God’s leading for my life and for my attitudes as I deal with family members as I make decisions for my life that may conflict with their ideas. I desire healthy relationships but my boundries cause problems with one who doesn’t understand. God Bless

    • Sharon June 21, 2012 at 2:19 am #

      Deb, I pray for God to give you wisdom in you choices, attitudes, and boundaries.

  12. Caroline June 21, 2012 at 1:46 am #

    Dear Sharon, This is to thank you, Mary and Gwen for being a blessing to us in a specia way. This devotion is timely on a morning like this as i prepare to start the day right.
    I would like to pray for my family, my career , health and my relationships. May Gods will be done in our lives.
    May God bless your ministry. I’m always blessed and inspired by your devotions in a special way.

    • Sharon June 21, 2012 at 2:18 am #

      Thank you, Caroline: I prayed for you tonight.

  13. Caroline June 21, 2012 at 2:00 am #

    To all my girl friends most especially my mum and pastor Carol, may God protect you, strengthn you and enable us overcome the family challenges most especially your businesses and motherhood roles. You are my special mums!! Love u.

  14. Cheryl June 21, 2012 at 2:55 am #

    My son desperately needs direction and a new job. He is struggling to know where to go to look . Please pray that God will help him in this way. Also, my daughter, has a real desire to marry. Please pray that God will bring her a godly man. Thanks for your prayers! God bless you and your ministry!

  15. Tyann Fierro June 21, 2012 at 3:54 am #

    Sharon Thank youfor your many devotionals that seem to always minister to so many needs just at the right time. I need prayer as well as my entire family right now. This year has been full of painful sufferings and blessings as well. On April 2 this year my beloved husband of 28 years went home to be with Jesus. God took my family on a spiritual journey that weekend. He went before us every step of the way as we prayed and asked for a miracle. We went through a spititual battle and our Faith was strengthened. We were showered with love and sweet fellowship and prayers. God met our needs and provided answers to tough questions and decisions that had to be made. The miracle was not the one of my husband being restored to live here on earth but he had a total spiritual and physical healing given to him as he went to be with Jesus. The miracle is how much that it all changed our lives to reach out and minister to others ….but we need prayer … I need prayer because there are days that it gets so difficult and tears just flow like a waterfall. Every where and every small thing reminds of a moment spent with my husband. I cry and then I am find and the Lord gives me strength. We have 5 amazing children whom are all adults now and they all have been a huge help to me ….their faith is so encouraging but I know they hurt as much as me.
    God blessed us with our second granchild a week after his passing, God has gone before me in so many things I have had to deal with. One is I have had to be the one to take care of my brother inlaw who has lived with us for the past 4 years. I have had to put him in rehab nursing home for he is not able to take care of himself…and there are so many things to deal with there. My mothere inlaw fell and broke her hip four weeks ago and now my youngest daughter is facing some health issues…. I dont not like this trial but I do know that with out a doubt in my heart that GOD IS STILL SOVEREIGN AND GOOD and that I will Continue to give HIM PRAISE and Trust…..His promises are TRUE and HE IS ALWAYS THERE for me…I do ask for prayer because we all need that for each other. I have been thrown totally out of my comfort zone here and I dont like that either. I know that from past trials that staying true to GOD and to the WORD are well worth …. obedience brings peach and joy in the midst of suffering knowing that in the end the victory has already been won…Thank you for your prayers for us…. and I will pray for others here who need prayer as well. God bless you and your ministry always
    love and prayer
    Tyann Fierro

    • Sharon June 21, 2012 at 12:26 pm #

      Oh friend, God sees what you’re going through. You are not alone. He is right there with you. Praying for you!

  16. Mica June 21, 2012 at 4:45 am #

    Dear Sharon
    First let me thank you for your inspiring devotion. it has helped to grow in a lot of ways and has clarified a lot of thinks in my spiritual walk. Please pray for my son Jeremiah whom i have been having a lot of agressive behaviour,disobedience and is very disruptive. Mya god Bl;ess you.

  17. Natalie Anne June 21, 2012 at 5:12 am #

    Hi girlfriend
    You are just but a blessing in my life. Just read the article on praying together, kindly pray for me that God may reveal who is the right person for me. thanks Sharon and I will pray for your ministry.
    be blessed.
    Natalie

  18. Christinah Gwebu June 21, 2012 at 2:35 pm #

    i thank GOD for your ministry.i have a project that needs money now to operate and i know that with god by my side all things are possible.please pray for me to be like the woman in proverbs 31,my children look up to me for their needs,so for me to tell them that i dont have,while i teach them that my good supplies all of my needs according to his riches in glory in christ jesus its painful.God bless you. christinah

  19. Joanna June 21, 2012 at 4:16 pm #

    Sharon,

    First of all thank you for your dedication in sending God’s message out as you do. I really enjoy your words of encouragement. This one really hit home….my “Best Friend” is battling lung cancer, never smoked a day in her life! I have been praying for her but just found out last week it spread to her brain. They gave her 6 weeks without radiation and 6 months with. She is an ER nurse and swore she would never take radiation, but with her prognoses she chose to start the radiation this last Monday.

    She lives in Houston, TX and I am 14-16 hours away in Louisville, KY. I just feel so alone when I pray. I guess I am reaching out for you to join me in prayer. I know every prayer counts! Blessing to you and keep up the good work!

    Joanna

  20. Kim June 23, 2012 at 1:26 am #

    Sharon, I really needed today’s lesson in Girlfriends in Prayer. I would love to ask you to pray for my daughter Erin. She has graduated nursing school and is having trouble finding a job. She is feeling very discouraged. I would love for my girlfriends in prayer to lift her up and ask God for his guidance.

    Thanks and may God continue to use you for his service to others,
    Kim

  21. chichi June 25, 2012 at 4:27 pm #

    Thank you Sharon for your uplifting messages. I would like you to pray for God‘s clear direction in my business and for open doors.

  22. Salome June 26, 2012 at 1:35 pm #

    Dear Sharon,
    Thank you for you ministry,every time I read your article it inspires me so much and am able to handle life difficulties with an easy.We’ve been having issues with my husband about spending on our finance.We never come to an agreement on how we should share the bills and other expenses.We end up quelling to an extent that he ends up getting so drank,coming home late at night.It hurts me so much because we’ve got two little boys 7 months and 3 years. I spend almost all my money with little saving.Am now in fear and feel like my marriage is insecure. Recently I took a loan and started a small shop in town so that at least I can make some savings for my family,now 6months and it is not picking up.I end up even spending my salary to cater for shop’s rent/loan and am left with almost nothing. I don;t know how to handle this situation any more.Please pray for me to come in terms with my dear husband to safe my family and also for my shop to pick up .Thank you for your daily devotions.

  23. Blanca Moll June 26, 2012 at 5:00 pm #

    Girlfriends have started to change my everyday life. I felt unloved and as the maid of the house not the mom or grandma that I am. I am cargiver for my 80 year old mom who has dementia. I read theBible and I know that God is my Savior once I had this joy in my heart and I was always singing and reading the Bible and listening to christian music. Then things stated to change and although I thought my faith will persevere I found myself without that joy in my heart, I dont listen to music anymore and I just exist day to day. I pray and asked God to restore my Joy and my singing to Him, but I don’t know is not happening. I do talk about God to whomever I can . I love my God with all my heart. But I know I need his touch to be filled with his joy and need a big hug from Him

  24. Donna June 27, 2012 at 8:27 pm #

    Please pray for all marriages, that we stand strong in the faith and that we believe God like never before!!! That we plead the blood of Jesus over our marriages and that we leave nothing uncovered and that there be no cracks in our foundations. Marriage is a life long covenant not a contract and what God has joined together let no one put asunder. God bless

    • Sharon June 28, 2012 at 12:27 am #

      I am standing with you in prayer for marriages!

  25. Christa June 28, 2012 at 2:27 am #

    Sharon,
    I’d like to ask you to pray for my little cousin, she is 11 and is going through a very hard time. She was caught running away from home in the middle of the night a couple of days ago and seems to be hurting. We are all puzzled as to what is going on and are seeking the help she might need, but I just ask that you help me pray for her. My heart is hurting for her and I have been praying, but I could my Girlfriends in God’s prayers. I just want her to know that God is right there holding her in his magnificent arms and no matter what she is going through, he will never leave her.
    Christa

    • Sharon June 28, 2012 at 12:39 pm #

      Praying they will get to the root of the hurt, and that God will protect her.

  26. sharon headley July 26, 2012 at 8:16 am #

    Thanks for your encouagement to be obedient to pray for others I would also appreciate your prayers for my upcoming marriage counselling 6 weeks process Thank you

  27. Candy July 31, 2012 at 5:38 am #

    Thanks for the message today Sharon! God bless you! Can you pray for me that I will obey and do God’s work.

  28. Jenn January 9, 2013 at 2:49 pm #

    Please say a prayer for my boyfriend (Eric) and I that we escape the clutches, temptations and lies of the Devil and the misery and darkside we have been so-called living in for nearly 20 years now. Addiction invited the Prince of darkness into our once healthy, happy, God-connected lives. We believe in Jesus and The Father and the Holy spirit.and feel their love and concern for us, yet we are weak to the devils deciet & pleasurable escapes in which we always lead sinful lives and turn against our holy father. Please pray for us that we may obey God and no longer allow the Devil to control our minds, thoughts, impulses and use our free will as he wishes..to do wrong in that he may gain power. I beg that our eternal souls bessaved by The almighty father..that we recieve His grace and forgivenss and our souls recieve eternal salvation. We can hancle the battle on Earth if we must struggle for some higher purpose, but an eternity in Hell is beyond any punishment and cruelty we deserve. We have lived a great deal of HELL ON EARTH already. PLease pray that Our Father knows we love him and wish nothing but to obey and please him.

Leave a Reply