By Sarah Mason
Have you ever left your tears on the altar? I’m not talking about at the time you were saved, but after that has there been a time when you felt the brokenness that leads to repentance because you chose to sin or due to the weight of a heavy burden that you just needed to lay down? Or maybe it was because you had a need so great that you were certain only God could meet it, so there you were, earnestly seeking His help?
There’s something different about surrendering at an altar of prayer. There’s a humility and a reverence in the act of kneeling before God publicly, acknowledging your desperate need for Him. Yet, at the same time, as you pray, you begin to feel one hand after another touching your back, your arms, your head. You hear soft murmuring around you; even though you are doing business with God, there’s an awareness that you’re not alone. Your sisters have surrounded you to help carry your petition to the throne, even when they don’t know exactly what it is. There they are beside you. You don’t fight this spiritual battle alone. The enemy is there telling you people think this or that about you coming to an altar in such a broken state; he tries to diminish your connection to Heaven, but his efforts are thwarted by your friends who are holding you up to the Father having surrounded you with a “wall of prayer that Satan can’t get through.” Oh, praise His name! Aren’t you grateful for praying friends?
I can’t begin to guess what you need spiritually right now, but I know in my life, 2022 has been a rough year. Serious health issues came first, then I was laid off from my job, and my dog died, all while my dearest friend was suffering and in need, but due to my own physical limitations, I couldn’t be a help to her as I would’ve liked. All those things happened in addition to the “normal” concern of caring for my mother who is slowly fading away from us as dementia ravages her mind. It sounds a little “woe is me,” doesn’t it? To be honest, I’ve felt a little “woe is me” more than once. Focusing on the positive and looking for the blessings in the midst of a prolonged storm doesn’t always come easy.
However, I have this wonderful, amazing group of friends who love the Lord and know how to get a prayer through. Some are close by, but many are spread all over the country, and when I humble myself to admit to them that I have a need or a burden, they faithfully carry me to the throne of grace. While we aren’t all kneeling at the same physical altar, we are bowed before the same King. Their prayers surround me and touch Heaven on my behalf just the same as if we were in the same room. There just aren’t enough words to adequately explain the gratitude I feel for these dear friends. It’s truly one of the greatest blessings in my life. I pray you have sisters in Christ who do the same for you; dear friends who will listen to your vulnerable plea for help without judgment and simply go to God on your behalf. That type of friend is among the greatest treasures that God gives to His people. If you haven’t been that kind of friend to the sisters in your life, now is a great time to begin. It’s so easy to pray for the ones we love. It’s needed, and it will bless you as much as it does them. Witnessing the move of God is the life of someone you’ve been praying for is so powerful. It affirms our faith! It’s exciting! But if we never engage in actively praying for others (calling out for them, laboring in prayer, not just saying a name or two as we give God a grocery list of requests), we’ll miss out on the blessing of participating in the victories of those around us. If there’s one thing I remember Kyla saying often, it’s that we should pray “oft, with, and for one another.” So my sisters, let’s do exactly that! Be a praying friend who has praying friends, and we’ll carry each other to the throne of grace time and time again.