We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about the troubles we experienced in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.
2 Corinthians 1:8-11 (NIV)
Almost 2000 years ago, Jewish Christians faced hard times. Paul reminds us of this reality in 2 Corinthians 1:8-11 – they were pressed far beyond their ability to endure and despaired of life itself! What helped them and granted them favor were the prayers of others.
Regardless of how strong you are as a believer, things will get into a melting point in your life. Hard times will come. The ugly image of the aching world brings with it the pain and agony of desperation and death. And yet we know that the tool for victory to our anxieties and the anxieties of others is prayer (Philippians 4:6-7). The prayers you offer, even if they look far fetched and remote from those who need them, change countless lives of people across the globe. You could be experiencing seasons of fear and sadness or moments when you are surrounded by sorrows due to issues happening in your life, family, city, country and work place including concerns over insecurity, food, shelter, stable jobs, money, relationships and health. God’s Spirit may move someone to pray for you, and for those currently facing those circumstances, He may move you to pray for someone.
Isaiah 41 and 43:2 urge us to trust in God no matter the circumstances. He guarantees to be with us in all our situations. In our trials, God just doesn’t send His grace; He Himself comes to see us through. He commands us not to be afraid in the face of adversity because He has a gracious plan for us. Even when things seem to be in a despairing situation, you stand firm, blaming nobody but waiting on God because He will not forsake you and He will move through the prayers of others on your behalf. Even though we will die in this earthly body, we will live again because our master rose again from death.
Whose life will you touch today through your prayers? Whose life will touch yours today through their prayers?
Jesus has seized you to be an intercessor for those in despair!
This is the third in the “Seized to Be A Friend to the Unfriended” series of blog posts and is a special submission from James Kepo, Board Chairman of SALT (Special Action for Life Transformation), our partner in South Sudan.