“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.
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.
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!
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.