The Power of Gathering as Christians
I received an email of a blog post last week. It was an impressively well-written piece about the four ways that we as Christians need to gather and how each benefits us individually and corporately.
The last was prayer. The author talked about praying together, whether in church or just as small groups. The point was made that all too often we promise to pray for someone and we all know that many get busy and forget. (If we’re honest, many likely never really intend to pray.)
What is much better, the author said, is to pray for and agree in prayer with others. I have to say I must agree that being prayed for or praying and having others join you to agree in prayer can do so much to lift a person up.
The Impact of Community in Trying Times
Last Thursday was an early, long, and difficult day for the whole household. I spent much of the day alone, in the dark about how my wife was doing. I realized in the early afternoon why I was feeling so poorly physically and struggling to move. The way the day had started, I missed taking my medications for over five hours.
By mid-afternoon, I could have been in a very dark place. I wasn’t. I write and teach about controlling our thought lives. I do everything I teach. I wasn’t in a dark place, but I was tired and wanting some encouragement.
Most of the time, just being with God is good enough for me. But sometimes we need ‘God with skin on.’ In other words, we need the encouragement of our brothers and sisters in Christ (Heb 10:24-25).
So, I called a dear ministry friend and we talked for a few minutes. He listened and cared without any pity or comparing hurts. When I was done and he had asked a few questions, He asked if he could pray. Indeed, that turned out to be exactly what I needed.
The True Meaning of Assembling Together
As Heb 10:24-25 says, we are to not forsake our assembling together. We often think of this as attending church. But it also is any time that we get together and lift each other up.
We need to have at least a couple of friends that we can and will be real with. They need to support us in our faith. Of course, we need to know that these friends will be discreet. I encourage people to verbalize this need in the form of an agreement. Not everyone will agree to being that friend. Not everyone can be that friend.
A Call to Unite in Faith
I encourage you to draw close to Him, but don’t try to do it alone either. Assemble together with your congregation and with brothers and sisters in Christ. Encourage one another. Pray for each other. And be blessed.
Exploring Deeper Spiritual Insights
If you want to understand more about living in Christ during troubled times, you can learn how my wife and I did through my new book, “Blessed Brokenness: Seeing God’s Glory in the Ashes of Life.”