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September 12, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“Now I beg you, brethren, through the Lord Jesus Christ, and through the love of the Spirit, that you strive together with me in prayers to God for me.”—Romans 15:30 (NKJV)
Arnold Schwarzenegger once listed 19 ways to maximize muscle. Among these he encouraged lifters to, “Feel free to ask for a spot. Having a spotter present is how you safely go to failure in exercises.” In weight training, these particular people (spotters) are invaluable by ensuring the safety of the lifter along with providing encouragement and allowing the lifter to push a little further.
As a woman of prayer, I see a similar application. I’ve experienced the advantages of prayer “spotters.” When I just can’t bear the load or when my spiritual muscle has gone to failure, I feel safe knowing I can rely on specific people for prayer support and encouragement.
However, asking for prayer isn’t just rolling over and exposing your spiritual underbelly to anyone who happens to be in the room. That can be damaging . . . and painful! Case in point, I guarantee Arnold’s spotter is similar in strength and size to him.
When Paul petitioned for prayer, he asked only those who would pray through Jesus and through the love of the Spirit. He asked those who were fellow servants and brothers and sisters in Christ. Our Lord Jesus also used discretion in asking only godly men to pray for Him. Even the pagan captain of the boat had sense to ask Jonah, a prophet of God, to pray for their perilous situation (Jonah 1:6).
That’s why it’s beneficial to be a part of a community of believers. Whether it’s church, a Bible study, or just a group of Christ-centered people, having Spirit-filled prayer spotters is vital to feeling safe in our weakness and building spiritual strength. Charles Stanley wrote in a recent devotional, “One of the wisest things we can do in the midst of difficulty is to engage the assistance of someone who knows how to talk to God.”
Schwarzenegger considered training partners crucial in maximizing his success. Yet, when we surround ourselves with Christ-centered prayer partners, success is manifold! Why? Because we have the opportunity to learn from one another (Proverbs 27:17), we exercise our call to pray for others (James 5:16), we give others the opportunity to carry our burdens when our spiritual muscle goes to failure (Galatians 6:2); and we secure a supply of the Spirit of Christ for those in Christ (Philippians 1:19) along with those seeking Christ (Psalm 145:18). Biblically speaking, the church is maximized and the Lord is magnified!
Dig: Why do you think Paul asked other believers to pray for him? How did that impact his ministry?
Discover: Looking through your circle of friends, is there someone you can safely and confidently confide in to biblically pray with you?
Display: The next time you need prayer, feel free to ask for a prayer spotter. Note how good and pleasant it feels to fellowship in this way. Maybe this might inspire you to create a prayer group
Lisa Supp lives in Utah and has served within the CCFL Web and Prayer Ministry since 2011. She also volunteers as an editor on the CCFL Prayer Wall and is a writer on the Communications Team. Retired from teaching, Lisa and her husband Ron volunteer at their local Calvary Chapel and share a passion for Scripture, apologetics, and education.