This morning, my Beth Moore study was about our need for others. The main verses looked at were Exodus 17:8-16, the story of Aaron and Hur holding up Moses' arms & his staff which gave the Israelites the victory in battle. I loved these two paragraphs from Beth:
God delights in allowing us the privilege of experiencing spiritual victories. When we refuse to allow anyone to share our personal battles, we risk two negative consequences: (1) We often lengthen the battle. Can you imagine how many days the Israelites would have needed to slay the Amalekites if they were victorious only when Moses could muster the energy to lift his staff? Without a doubt, teamwork hastened the victory. (2) When we do not ask for support, we cheat others of the joy of victory. Some of the greatest moments of ecstasy I have experienced in my Christian journey have been others' victories….
As much as you may wish you were, you are not autonomous. God has chosen that our victories are sweetest when shared. You are a gift to the body of Christ. The body of Christ is a gift to you.
In the summer of 2003, I felt God nudging me to form a team of prayer warriors to pray for my writing ministry. Some months before, God had called me to write a book about alcoholism's affect on a marriage. I knew it would be a difficult book to write. I know what that particular "disease" (sin-choice) does to a family. I had also come to understand how many people are sitting in our pews with secret heartaches weighing them down. This book would be for them, to let them know they aren't alone, and I had a sneaking suspicion that the enemy of our souls wouldn't be any too happy about this book.
God knew how much I would need my prayer team and for much more than just praying about the writing of Beyond the Shadows. Over the next few years, I felt like I was attacked in a million ways. The words of encouragement I received from members of my prayer team were rays of light in a difficult time. I often felt the prayers of others carrying me through the day. And every so often a member would send me an email saying that praying for me had blessed them in numerous ways. Isn't that just like God? To bless those who pray and those they pray for.
Come September, my prayer team will be entering it's 7th year. Over the years, new members have been added, some members have stepped away, and there are some who have been praying for me from the beginning. Soon it will be time to invite people to commit to pray for another year. All I know is, I wouldn't ever again want to do what I do without a prayer team standing in the gap for me.
Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up … And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart.
(Ecclesiastes 4:9-10, 12)
Thank You, Father, for the wonderful brothers and sisters in Christ who have stepped forward to pray for me and for the books that I write. Thank You for the special friends You have brought into my life so that they can lift me up when I fall. Thank you for the two women who have joined with me to form a cord of three strands. Bless them for their many kindnesses to me. Give all of them the desires of their hearts. Help them to draw ever closer to You in times of adversity. No matter what they want most in life, cause them to want You even more. In the mighty name of Jesus, Amen.