October 30, 2017
READ: 2 Corinthians 1:8-11
You are helping us by praying for us (v.11).
Few of us would think we’d done anything significant after attending a prayer meeting, much less that one day a monument would be built to commemorate what we did. University student Samuel Mills would surely have felt the same way.
One August day in 1806, Mills prayed for foreign missions with some friends. A thunderstorm arose and they took refuge in the shelter of a haystack. They continued to gather weekly for what became known as the Haystack Prayer Meeting, which sparked the American foreign missions movement. Today the Haystack Prayer Monument stands at Williams College as a reminder of how God answered the prayers of several young people.
Why should we pray with others and not simply alone? One reason is because it pleases God. Our heavenly Father is delighted when His children approach Him with a common request. Bible commentator R. V. G. Tasker wrote, “[God] desires nothing more than that His people should be united in mutual intercession offered in the name of His Son.”
Tasker was commenting on 2 Corinthians 1:11, “You are helping us by praying for us.” The Greek word for “helping us” paints a beautiful picture. It consists of three words meaning “with”, “under” and “work”. As we intercede for others together, we’re standing alongside our brothers and sisters who face a heavy burden and are working hard together to lift it. Imagine what joy it brings when the heavy weight is lifted! No wonder the verse continues: “Then many people will give thanks because God has graciously answered so many prayers for our safety” (v.11).
There are others who need our prayers today. As God empowers us, let’s pray together for them so that we can also rejoice in God’s goodness together.
—Poh Fang Chia
365-day-plan: Acts 15:1-21
Read Romans 15:30-32 to see Paul’s example of inviting others to pray with him.
What can you pray about with others this week? Why is there great power in our praying with one another?