One of the most encouraging experiences as a Christian is to be prayed for by someone else. When someone prays for us, especially in our presence, something special happens in our hearts – we feel cared for and encouraged. There’s a sense of intimacy, both between us and the other person, and between us and God. It’s like we’re knocking on heaven’s door together. It’s one of the best ways to build relationships between Christians – it binds our hearts together, and it’s one of the surest ways of ensuring unity in the church.
It’s pretty hard for division to exist and take hold when people are praying together. But we need to pray not only FOR one another, we need to pray WITH one another.
Robert McCheyne, a minister in the Church of Scotland, once said: “If I could hear Christ praying for me in the next room, I would not fear a million enemies. Yet distance makes no difference. He is praying for me.”
The Bible confirms McCheyne’s comment: Heb 7:25 says “Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.” It is by His grace, not by our own efforts, that we remain faithful today.
If we remember that it is through grace that we our saved, sanctified, protected an uplifted, we can turn to our brothers and sisters, whether they be Presbyterian, Episcopalian, or Baptist – and even further than that: whether they be Jewish or Muslim, Hindu or Buddhist, and see God’s grace at work in them as well.
Jesus doesn’t pray that we all be of precisely like mind, or that we blend into a homogenous grey blob. He prays that God will be with us, that we will feel the protection of God, that we will trust the intercession of Christ when we get things wrong, and that we love one another. If this is what Jesus prayed, do you, like me, believe that it’s time we started praying the same for (and with) one another?
Braeside and Westmount Presbyterian Churches
St. Albert and Edmonton, Alberta