Tuesday, February 28, 2017

A Vital Partnership

For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ... And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. I Corinthians 12: 20, 26

If one member of the body suffers... I heard today about a sister in the Lord who has tragically lost her adult son.

My heart breaks for her and her family. And I will pray for her.

But sometimes it doesn't seem like "enough" if we pray for people undergoing suffering. Yet it's the one way we can invisibly support the hurting and grieving members of the Body of Christ.

And in Christ's body, we all need each other.

We should not diminish the fact that we "just pray," as if that is just a small thing. We live in a world where we want to see tangible results. But prayer is accomplished in the spiritual realm that we can only enter by faith.

Did you ever wonder if your prayers were going no higher than the ceiling? If we pray in faith, we take it on faith that somehow our loving Father hears us and will act on our behalf if we ask according to His Word. How is it that an invisible God can hear all the prayers of all His children simultaneously? Again, we take it on God's Word by faith

He's God and not like us limited humans.

Sometimes I'm overwhelmed by the number of prayer requests that I come across in a typical day. I know that I can't keep track of all of them.

 God still hears even when we pray in a way that covers any believer going through a certain circumstance. For example, I think of all the North Korean prisoners kept in chains and suffering for even having one page of the Bible in their possession. I don't know their names, but God does. Sometimes I pray for all of them as a whole. Yet God knows each one individually and sees each one of their hearts at any given moment.

I know there are times when I can "go and do" something to help. But the problems that the world faces at this time are too many for one person, except the Person of Jesus, to be able to solve.

Brothers and sisters in the Body, no matter where they are, believe in the same Lord as I do, and are part of the same body I am part of. If one of them hurts I am to identify with them.

The enemy does not want us to think that praying does much good, and will throw discouraging thoughts our way. We have to ignore those subtle thoughts, and just keep praying.

Rationalism teaches that prayer is unreasonable since God must know what is required better than the one who prays. Perhaps God did not need to arrange it thus; but it is revealed (John 14: 13, 14) that prayer now has been divinely constituted an office, or trust. When Christ can say of prayer, "Whatsoever ye shall ask...that will I do," He has elevated its importance to a point where, to a large degree, God has conditioned His response on the faithful prayer of the believer... It is probable that we cannot know all that is involved, but we do know that, in  the ministry of prayer, the child of God is brought into vital partnership in the work of God in a manner in which he could not otherwise partake.*

 Lewis Sperry Chafer, Major Bible Themes, page 240. 

We are partners with God through prayer. That is an awesome and privileged opportunity that we only have on this side of eternity. I love what John the Apostle said of our prayers in the book of Revelation:

Then another angel, having a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne.
And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, ascended before God from the angel's hand.        Rev. 8: 4-5

That  is "all the prayers of the saints," you and me included. Now is the time to exercise this wonderful privilege as members of His body, on behalf of those brokenhearted by  suffering in this life.

*emphasis mine

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