"If you believe, you will receive anything you ask for in prayer." (Matthew 22:21)
I cannot say I am a prayer warrior. I go through periods where I am "on", when my heart just pours out and I am left feeling so refreshed. But then I go through dry spells as well, when it is all I can do to even whisper, "please, Lord, help me." I have found that one of the best ways to get out of these ruts is to stop thinking about myself and pray only for others and their needs.
But the other night reminded me of a better way to get out of those ruts: to pray with someone else. As I prayed with one of my best friends, and then later with a brother whose wife is battling cancer, something different moved within me. I did not once pray for myself, yet I felt the weight of the world that I have been placing on my shoulders lift. I was one of the last people to leave as another brother and I opened up about some sin in our lives. And I was refreshed.
It's funny, as I look back over the years I have called myself a disciple of Jesus I can point out a few single times, single events, that stand out as memories that mean something special to me. But what I seem to remember most were the times I wrestled in prayer with someone else. I remember praying with a stranger who would later become one of my best friends as we watched a sun rise. I remember going with my roommate on a prayer walk that I didn't want to go on, and yet probably praying one of the most vulnerable prayers I ever had. I remember just a couple of years later, praying with this friend right before his wedding. I remember an elder who used to be here, and if you asked him what the weather was like he would first pause and pray about it before giving an answer. I remember praying non-stop the days before I was baptised, wrestling over a new conviction that turned my religious upbringing up side down. I remember my wife and I praying on our knees every night before bed; only a memory because we have since allowed our lives to wear us down and distract us from what is most important.
"They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer." (Acts 2:42)
How awesome it is that because of the sacrifice of Jesus we can enter into the presence of the Creator of the universe, that he loves us so much that he listens as we ramble on like little children, and that in his infinite wisdom he answers our prayers. That awe, that refreshing, that faith is forgotten when I neglect the power of praying with someone else.
"The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective." (James 5:16)
Are you in a rut spiritually? I encourage you to find someone else and make time to pray together. Even if it is someone you do not know who sits on the other side of the fellowship every Sunday morning, there is nothing better to break the ice than to pray together. So who is someone you can call up today to pray?