We are called to bear one another’s burdens. Galatians 6:2 says just that. No man or woman is made to walk this life alone. Case in point:
When Israel was in battle with the Amekalites, as long as he held his staff high, Israel was prevailing (Exodus 17). But after a time, his arms grew weary. (I can understand this. I have pretty much no upper body strength.) So when Moses would grow weary, his arms would start to fall, and his army would begin taking a beating. It was then that Aaron and Hur came alongside Moses to help him bear his burden. Because they did, Israel was victorious.
I always feel privileged when someone asks me for prayer. I mean, I don’t think they would ask if they didn’t think I talked to God fairly frequently, and had a pretty healthy relationship with Him. I must admit, though, that I didn’t always pray when someone would ask me. Oh, I would promise to, and I always meant to, but sometimes I just forgot. Not really nice. Weak arms, and a poor memory.
I’m better about that these days. I have a healthier respect for God’s powerful response to prayer. Now if someone asks me to pray, I do. Right then. I will try to remember to pray again later, but I know who I am and I am forgetful. So just in case, I cut right to it.
I have a friend who is a great intercessor. She has a special talent. She feels called by God to prayer. She leads a team of dozens at her church in intercessory prayer ministry. She recently told me that sometimes the Lord will allow her to feel the burden she is praying for. I mean physically feel it. She told me this doesn’t last long, because we are not called to bear the burdens for long, we are called to cast our cares upon Him. I had no idea what she was talking about. She really FEELS the burdens? How does that work? I couldn’t imagine.
This friend, whom I call upon regularly to pray for me, called me for prayer. This time my prayer warrior needed prayer. It was serious. Her life had taken a turn that caused her heart to break. It made mine break, too. As I spent time praying for this friend the next morning, I began to feel her pain. I mean I physically felt her pain. My heart felt like a dead weight in my chest. Suddenly, I remembered what she had told me about feeling the burden. I felt it all day long. I was no good at work that day. My mind was on my friend, and on lifting her up before the Lord.
By the time I arrived home later in the afternoon, I was feeling better. I had given over the burden to the Lord. I still don’t quite understand what happened to me. Did I feel what I felt because of WHOM I was praying for? Because of my friend’s tight relationship with the Lord, perhaps? I just don’t know.
Bearing one another’s burdens is no small thing. For years I thought I was pretty good at it. Now I know what it really means to do that. It wasn’t pretty, but it was indeed a privilege to stand in the gap for my friend. To stand in prayer with a friend facing adversity is a blessing- to both parties.
We all need Aarons and Hurs in our lives. Even prayer warriors need prayer sometimes. We know, as Christians, how this game ends. (We win.) And yet we are called to walk this life full of pitfalls and snares. Wouldn’t the journey be better with people to stand in the gap for us? (Ezekiel 22:30)
So you don’t think of yourself as a prayer warrior. Me neither. But it is a privilege to approach the throne of the Most High. He loves the sound of our voices, and like a good Father, wants provide for us. The only way to get started being a person of prayer, is to just get started. I have turned my journey to work every morning into a Divine appointment. Those twenty-five minutes are when God and I hang out. It’s a really great way to start the day, and the only twenty-five minute period of my day that someone else hasn’t laid claim to.
So let’s become a people of prayer… for our families, friends, churches, leaders, and for our country. We were made to bear the burdens of others, to lighten their load, on this journey.