Gathering Clouds: An Invitation to Prayer
Recently, a friend of mine suggested we pray together about a common desire on our hearts. A few weeks before that, I had begun to partner in prayer as well for a common goal.
I love praying with people. This year made me appreciate the power of praying together in a new way. Early in the year I had begun praying consistently in partnership with another. I got to see God do amazing things in the place of prayer and through our prayers. I learned to gain strength of praying with someone else, and I learned to cherish the beauty and power in it.
The Lord Jesus said, “Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be doe for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” (Matthew 18: 20 ESV)
The scriptures are littered with examples of the power of prayer and even so with examples of the power of praying together. We are encouraged to pray for one another. We are encouraged to pray for all people. We are encouraged to pray together. We are told to pray without ceasing, and to pray on all occasions.
Elijah’s example of prayer was retold in the New Testament in the book of James. Elijah had labored with his face between his knees in prayer. “Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again, he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.” (James 5:17, 18 NIV)
On the latter occasion, Elijah kept asking his servant to go to the sea and see if any clouds appeared in the sky. The servant kept coming back with no good news. Seven times he did this. And all that time, Elijah prayed. At the seventh, the servant came with news. “There’s a cloud, I guess. It’s only the size of a man’s hand.” Elijah knew that was the answer he was waiting for. “Go and tell Ahab, ‘Hitch up your chariot and go down before the rain stops you.’” (1 Kings 18: 44 NIV)
It’s a powerful story.
And it gives us hope for the great things that can happen when we pray. What would happen when we pray together?
Prayer is surrender. Prayer is trusting. Prayer is worship. Prayer is faith in a good God. Prayer is strength. Prayer is power.
When we pray it’s like clouds gathering, potent with rain. Our Father hears us. He hears our sighs, our whispers, our thunderous shouts. He hears us. Our prayers go up to him like sweet incense. “His Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.” (Romans 8:26) It means something tremendously powerful when His children pray.
We can pray. We don’t have to do it alone. We can do it together.
- Send a written scripture-based prayer to a friend* today.
- Ask a friend* to let you know one specific thing you can pray with them about
*A friend: neighbor, colleague, family member, close friend, and the list goes on…