” Dear brothers and sisters, I want you to understand that the gospel message I preach is not based on mere human reasoning. I received my message from no human source, and no one taught me. Instead, I received it by direct revelation from Jesus Christ.” – Galatians 1:11-12
Look at this very bold statement by the Apostle Paul. He needs no human guidance, he receives all his knowledge directly from Jesus himself. WOW! Can you imagine? Having a direct line to Jesus and being able to communicate in such a way that you are 100% confident in your message.
Now, I believe this. I believe that Paul did have a supernatural relationship with Jesus, otherwise, he would not have been able to do what he did (evangelize most of the known world, write a majority of the New Testament, etc…) But I have a big question:
Assuming that Paul had this “direct line” to Jesus, why would he continually ask for the prayers of others?
Think about it. Here is a guy that conceivably could talk to the Lord anytime he wanted, about anything he wanted, and he continually asks others to pray for him. We see it in the letters he writes to his churches – Ephesians, Romans, 2nd Corinthians, and several more. Why do you think that is?
I do not claim to know the mind of Paul, but I have a theory. And I would love to have your thoughts on the subject. But it occurred to me that Paul spent a great deal of his ministry in great duress and anxiety. While he was doing wonderful, and miraculous works, he was also persecuted at every turn – beaten, imprisoned, tortured, abandoned by his friends. Paul had a rough life.
As I said, I don’t know the mind of Paul, but when I am in situations much less severe than these, I tend to get … disconcerted. I begin to worry that maybe I am not hearing correctly when I pray. I begin to worry that I am being led by my emotions and not by God.
It is always a great comfort to me to know that other believers are praying along with me. I trust that their prayers are honored by God. As well, I feel as though God speaks through these people, and I have learned to trust the counsel of good friends that I know have been praying about my situation.
So when, praying for others, I have begun to ask God, in addition to relieving the problem at hand, to please provide clarity and peace for that person. I ask Him, to speak in ways that are clear to that person – either through their spirit, through scripture, other people – whatever way will best communicate to them His presence and His concern for them.
Blessed is the One who comes in the name of the Lord. And He comes in so many different ways. I thank You, Lord, that You take the time to speak in ways that I can understand. I thank You, that in times of great distress, You send faithful friends to pray alongside me and to bring clarity to my situation. Help me to be the same resource for others. When trusted with the great privilege of being a prayer partner for someone else, give me the follow through to pray, listen, and share my experience with them.
Help me to be a blessing.
In Jesus’ name I pray,