“For we do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, of our trouble (tribulation) which came to us in Asia: that we were burdened beyond measure, above strength, so that we despaired even of life. Yes, we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves but in God Who raises the dead, Who delivered us from so great a death, and does deliver us; in Whom we trust that He will still deliver us, you also helping together in prayer for us, that thanks may be given by many persons on our behalf for the gift granted to us through many.”
(2 Corinthians 1:8-10)
“…you also helping together in prayer for us…”
Can we even begin to fathom the power of prayer? I mean PRAYER, intercession, calling out to God with the needs of your heart. May we never brush it aside as a mere ritual of casual words tossed into an endless sky.
In this passage of Scripture, Paul is writing to the Church at Corinth. He is telling them of his troubles – his tribulations – while in Asia. Scholars believe that he was suffering from a critical illness, or possible persecution. Whatever he suffered, apparently he believed that, humanly speaking, there was no hope of surviving. Only through God’s mercy and the faithful prayers of other Believers was he delivered.
Again, in Romans 15:30 Paul writes to the Christians in Rome, “Now I beg you, brethren, through the Lord Jesus Christ, and through the love of the Spirit, that you strive together with me in prayers to God for me…”
What a beautiful testimony of prayer! Think of the massive ministry the Apostle Paul had. Indeed, think of the many trials he endured – shipwrecks, beatings, prison, snakebites – and yet he survived them all in his quest to take the Gospel to his world.
What if these young Believers hadn’t prayed?
What if we don’t fall to our knees and follow through when we tell someone we will pray them through their battles and heartaches?
“The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” ~ James 5:16
Father, It is a privilege to come before You in prayer – in intercession – for others. What a comfort it is to know that You hear us when we call. Thank you, Lord. Open our eyes that we might see and recognize how Satan gets us off track so that we don’t pray when we tell someone we will. Prayer makes a difference. You respond to our prayers – not pious, fancy prayers, but prayers from the heart. Make prayer a priority in our lives. Thank You, Lord. We love you.