Matthew 26: 36-39
Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, "Sit here while I go over there and pray." He took Peter and the two sons of Zebede along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, "My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me."
Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, "My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will."
In the above Scripture verses, Jesus was in the garden of Gethsemane, only hours from being betrayed and handed over into custody. He then would be put on trial all night long, severely beaten, and then crucified the next day. As the verse states, Jesus was "overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death." He asked his friends to "stay and keep watch" with him. (In their own sadness and confusion about the impending night, they did the best they could, until an exhausted sleep overtook each of them. (Matthew 26:40)).
What can we take away from this passage as well as the words from Kit in our devotional? One point of direction is this: if Jesus, the perfect God Man, asked for friend support, shouldn't we also?
As you might already know, I have been gifted with a walking-praying-buddy. Madelaine Miller Singleton and I started this venture about the same time Soul Sisters began five years ago. I truly believe one reason we are part of this group is to be an encouragement to you in some way in the area of praying TOGETHER. Jesus teaches this principle because He knows we are not meant to walk through life alone. Personally, when I am emotionally down, Madelaine picks me up, not only through her words to me, but through her words for me. Her prayers to God put courage back into my heart. But our prayers go well beyond our own personal stuff. She and I, and you and another individual, have the AWEsome opportunity to play a major (but hidden) role in other people's lives by lifting them up to our Life Altering God.
Today, if you don't have one already, consider gaining a consistent prayer partner. Pray that God will reveal that specific friend to you--not just the "happy-go-lucky-how's-the-weather kind of friend; but rather, "let-me-walk-by-your-side-in this-very-hard-thing" kind of friend. Just like Jesus' friends, they will not be perfect, but they will be present. Share your requests with each other and commit to pray together either by phone call, by text, or by meeting together on a regular basis--once a week/month/etc. (There is no "perfect formula" to follow; however, I can say, consistency is key). I have no doubt, that if you commit to this venture with your friend, then amazing, impossible things will begin and then continue to unfold.
And remember this promise, when you and your prayer partner are together, there is another Friend in your presence as well. Jesus who was once "overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death" is right there, empathizing with you. I do believe that one of His greatest heart's desire on earth is to walk alongside of His praying friends. He doesn't just listen to our faith filled cries, He moves in compassion and power to answer them.
For further reading: Ecclesiastes 4:9-12; Matthew 18:20; Luke 24:13-32
Thank you for teaching us by example how to walk with friends. Help us to surround ourselves with people that will encourage and pray for us, and vice versa. With that being said, thank You for this group! Build relationships within Soul Sisters, both on-land and on-line so that we can carry each others burdens and lift them up to You; for You are the One who can hold them all. Amen.