Community is something that God is pretty clear about how important it is to Him. Even HE is a community of sorts (the Trinity.. Three in one..) He decided it was not good for Adam to be alone, that he needed a community, but not just a group that was exactly like him, Adam needed diversity and companionship. Which means, we are supposed to have community, which is hard, and messy, and beautifully diverse, and it literally changes our lives.
Literally, all throughout scripture you see community being incredibly important. Even in the New Testament Jesus pulls a community of people around him. There are spheres even in his circles, He had his three close “inner circle,” then he had the twelve, then there was a much larger group that included women, even his mom and brothers.. and it was more than 100 people!
Community is important. Very important.
But, it goes much deeper than simply just wanting people to be around. We need their faith, their wisdom, support, love, care, sometimes we physically need their help (especially as a woman), and other times we just need them to physically be present in our hurting… But, I would also say that a crucial and sometimes forgotten part to the community puzzle is the prayer for each other.
Oh sure, we remember to pray on occasion for each other, and sometimes we even remember to regularly offer up quick prayers.. But, that is not the kind of prayer I am talking about. I am talking about touching someone and praying the intense, purposeful, expectant of answers, and sometimes the petitions on our knees before our Creator God kind of prayers.
Please do not misunderstand me, both are good things, and prayer is important no matter what, but I have (re)discovered recently just how profoundly different it is to be prayed over with intensity, intentionality, and expectation. Something about community prayer changes things. I know God made it that way, but it amazes me how much it truly makes a difference. Two weeks ago I was prayed over by a few people, and a couple of them said things that literally caused something to shift inside of me, a switch to be flipped, and suddenly the pressure of things I was using to beat myself up with were gone. Without their prayers over me, I am confident I would still be struggling under the weight of those things.
I want to understand what Jesus meant when He said in John 16,In my discovery, the prayers over the 3×5 cards on my bathroom mirror have started to shift slightly. I am really trying to learn how to pray, and asking God to teach me.
“…Truly, truly, I say to you, if you ask the Father for anything in My name, He will give it to you.”
.. Because in my book, anything is actually pretty specific… So, I am asking God to show me and teach me.
I re-discovered literally last night, after spending the vast majority of my day dwelling in and spending quality time with my Lord, the evil one really begins attacking. I knew exactly why he was attacking, and I knew the area in my life he was hitting… I also was keenly aware of the fact that I needed reinforcements, so I reached out to my bff. She knew exactly how to pray for me, and we were able to talk, she was able to share her insight and wisdom, and when all was said and done, I was left amazed at God even more than before.
Prayer changes everything, and community prayer multiplies that ridiculously.