“I just wish someone else understood!” Many of us—perhaps all of us—have expressed this desire. Whether we are talking about a personal struggle, a physical need, or simply the way a blustery afternoon makes us inexplicably happy, we long for the presence of another human being who will nod her head and say, “Yes. Me too.”
We give and receive this kind of understanding as we pray with others. In prayer together, we rejoice with those who rejoice; we weep with those who weep (Rom. 12:15). We bear one another’s burdens (Gal. 6:2).
After my husband and I suffered a miscarriage, we experienced this love from our church family at a prayer meeting. Friends who had themselves lost children in the womb prayed tenderly for us, shared our tears, and gave us hope that the Lord would be gracious to us in the midst of trial even as he had been gracious to them.
But it’s not only people who have had similar experiences who can love one another by prayer. Those who sit in comfortable pews in suburban American can pray for persecuted Christians on the other side of the world. And those who are in chains can pray for those who are free to proclaim Christ. The healthy can weep with the sick, and the sick can rejoice with the healthy. The lonely can rejoice with the married, and the married can weep with the widows. This is love.
In prayer together, we join in the praises and laments and supplications of our neighbors, carrying their burdens and blessings to the throne, lending them a hand to lay them before the Lord.
Megan Hill is the author of Praying Together: The Priority and Privilege of Prayer in Our Homes, Communities, and Churches. You can follow her on Twitter at @mevanshill. These devotions draw upon themes in Praying Together by Megan Hill, ©2016, published by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. www.crossway.org.