Step Four: AGREE with others in Prayer
I am fascinated by Bottlenose Dolphins, the most intelligent creatures in the ocean. Dolphins are easily trained and can reason, solve problems, think abstractly, and even recognize themselves in a mirror! They are also incredibly fast and powerful.
Stories abound of dolphins protecting humans against sharks, repelling them with high-speed, battering ram-like blows. My dad is one of the few living World War II submarine veterans. While on long, hot tours in the South Pacific, the sailors hoped to see dolphins so they could dive off the sub for a refreshing swim–sure to be safe from sharks.
Sharks steer clear of dolphins for another reason. Dolphins find safety in numbers by sticking together in groups or “pods.” So what do dolphins have to do with prayer? Like dolphins, our teammates can help us gain strength in prayer and defeat our spiritual enemies. Jesus said it this way: “If two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven (Matthew 18:19).
The Greek word for agree is symphone (from which we get symphony), meaning “together with the same voice.” This word can also be translated “music.”
This week, let’s focus on Step Four in our 40-Day Prayer Challenge: AGREE with others in prayer.
Pause a minute and let Jesus’s words sink in:
Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. Matthew 18:19.
Click here to see three versions of Matthew 18:19 and note the various words for agree.
My prayer partner Beth and I “agree” in prayer almost daily. We pray first for our own husbands and children, gradually extending our petitions to those around us, and even to the world beyond our own walls. Throughout the day, we’ll text or leave a voicemail with our prayer requests. Perhaps this kind of prayer sounds like music to God.
I am mystified as to why the prayer of agreement works. I just know from experience that it seems to ignite prayer with extra power. Jesus promises that when we are gathered, even just two or three of us, in His name, He is there with us (Matthew 18:20).
This week’s assignment is to read Sometimes He Whispers, Sometimes He Roars: Learning to Hear the Voice of God, Chapter 7, Teammates.
Answer the Personal Reflection Questions on page 191.
Action Step #1: Select your prayer partner (if you don’t have one) and begin to share prayer requests through texting, emails, voicemail, or whatever works best. I find it works well to have someone whose season of life is like mine. Beth and I are a good fit. All of our kids are passionate about sports. Our parenting styles are similar–and with all those athletes, we have lots of laundry (a good time to pray)!
If you’re reading daily with me in the Gospel of John (the 21-Day Experiment ), I hope you’re discovering how praying God’s Word gives AUTHORITY to your prayers. And as you continue the process of prayer, are you growing more ALERT, watching and listening for God’s voice daily? Don’t forget to be specific when you ASK—not to be demanding of God, but so you’ll recognize even the tiniest answer to prayer when it comes.
Action Step #2: If you are using a Chubby Book or Journal to record your daily prayers, I find it helps to add a few PODs each day, or “prayers on demand.” These are those special prayers that arise at a moment’s notice.
Action Step #3: Prayer partners are also good for accountability. It helps to confess our failures and mess-ups. (“Help–I need prayer. Just lost my temper with the kids, again!) Accountability keeps me alert to prayer needs, answers to prayer, and confession. And remember, “POD” can also mean “praise on demand.” Share answers to prayer as well as requests.
Training Tip: Remember: your family can be your greatest prayer partners. . Have prayer triggers for each member. Share requests and answers to prayer often. Create your own family history of answered prayer. I’ve heard it said this way: The family that prays together stays together!
Prayer: Lord, I confess that sometimes I treat my walk with you like a solo journey. I humbly confess to you that I need the Body of Christ–for protection, for power in agreement, and to simply share the joy of knowing You. Strengthen my family’s commitment to prayer. May we develop our own history–a true heritage–of seeing Your mighty works in the ordinary moments of life. This is the greatest adventure of all. Amen.