She was stressed about the Covid-19 pandemic.
I had just met Edna, but prayed with her. After the prayer, she remarked, "I have never had anyone pray for me in that way." I thought she referred to our “social distancing,” but she said, "No, I mean I have never heard someone say my name in a prayer." I was shocked, but managed to share that God knows her name and cares.
Sometimes, when we can’t attend an event with a person, we tell them we will be there in spirit. Or perhaps someone has turned down our offer but promised us their “surrogate spirit.” I can’t separate my spirit from my body and send it to an event. Nor have I ever experienced the presence of “spirit-attendees.” What I have learned is that being there for others is important.
In a dialogue between Jesus and His best friends, He asked them to watch and pray as He prayed. We don't get to hear what His friends said. Matthew may have decided their words were not worth writing down while Jesus' words seemed important enough to share. Matthew does record Jesus' frustration: “What! Could you not watch with Me one hour?”
While praying is an intimate time with our heavenly Father, there are also times when we need the presence, the community, and the sacred attendance of others. While many of us practice a daily, systematic prayer time, we should also cultivate a community prayer time. We are a community of faith.
During this time of world, national, and small-town focus on a virus, national leaders as well as local township leaders are asking for prayer. This is a time for us to hear the prayers of our leaders, as well as our own faith family.
Congregational worship—faith family worship—begins when we learn to share our hearts with one another. When we call out to our heavenly Father and our brothers and sisters in Christ hear us, we build the church. When our world and our communities hear the prayers of the church, we remind them of our one true hope. When they hear their names called out to our Creator, they are confronted with the good news amidst the storm.
Think of someone for whom you can be there.
(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)
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