You also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many.

2 Corinthians 1: 11

 

Although these words are those of Paul speaking to his spiritual family in Corinth, they could be spoken by anyone who follows Christ to any other like-hearted believers in Christ residing next door or far across the globe. He is sharing the reality of one of the most tangible and significant aspects of a life of faith. For the sort of prayer that Paul mentions involves trusting God with the process and with the outcome of everything that takes place during our days on this earth. It says that I care about others and have certain desires and wishes for where and how their lives would go, but at the same time, I recognize that my care and concern is merely a shadow of that which God holds for these same people.

 

When followers of Christ turn to prayer as our response to the various types of situations and circumstances that we and those we care about encounter, we enter in with God into the journey of living in the outworking of His will. We join together in a circle of unity that is centered on Christ and is bound together by His Spirit. There is an otherworldly strength to all of this in that in prayer we are not dependent upon the sorts of might and power that this world embraces and trusts; instead, we are entrusting our hopes, dreams, and desires to the word of God and in His loving grace and provision. People of faith who pray together, whether physically in the same place or greatly distanced from each other, demonstrate to the world that there is another way to exist than that which is spoken by the worldly voices of culture.

 

In Christ, we all encounter the humility of His cross; so, we all need to experience the separation and the rejection that were poured out upon Him by the entire world. The strength that each of us needs to travel along that rough road of separation from the world’s way is supplied entirely by Christ, and the encouragement that is necessary in order to continue the trek comes from His Spirit and is amplified by the chorus of the voices of faith that lift us up to God in prayer. I am thankful and greatly blessed by the prayer that others express on my behalf. I am also blessed to have the privilege to pray for others. As we follow Christ, we may need to separate ourselves from much of this world; yet, as we do this, we join in a mighty family of faith that spans the world and reaches into Heaven as prayer communicates trust, faith, and love that are unending and unstoppable.