Thursday, March 3

Spiritual Support

Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. --Romans 12:15

When I was in college I participated regularly in a small group made up of other young women who attended Campus Crusade for Christ. We shared prayer requests among the group, confessed our shortcomings to one another, held each other accountable to living in a manner that was becoming of Christian young women, and generally enjoyed a lot of "girl talk".

Up until recently, I hadn't been involved in a group like that. That particular type of peer-group dynamic just hadn't been available to me as it had been during college. A month or two ago, one of my new friends at church invited me to attend a prayer group that meets at her home. That group of woman has come to be such a blessing to me. I believe strongly in the power of personal prayer, and I also believe that there is something intensely powerful about being in the presence of people who know God personally, and are willing to approach God's throne on behalf of others.

It is encouraging to me to hear the answered prayers and the requests of my Christian sisters. Very rarely is an issue brought up that I cannot relate to at least in some small way. The knowledge that there are other people who are experiencing the same ups and downs, joys and heartaches that I am, reminds me that none of us is alone in the world. It also reminds me that although I cannot see or touch God, he proves that he is real when he works through his people to demonstrate his love in a variety of ways.

Perhaps the most meaningful part of getting together with a prayer group or other similar form of fellowship, is the reminder that God truly is a personal God. It can sometimes be difficult to feel like God is intimately involved in every aspect of our lives. It's all well and good to believe that God cares about us, but sometimes we really wish that God was someone with skin on! When we receive a hug from a friend, it is as though God is using that person to express his love to us in a tangible way. By rejoicing with those who rejoice and mourning with those who mourn, we are given a glimpse of the way that God shares in our experiences. I am truly blessed by the ways God uses my friends to teach me more about himself, and I hope that I am able to be a similar blessing and encouragement to others.

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