28th April - Thought For The Day - Bound By The Spirit
Updated: May 1, 2020
Words by Bev Jones
Bound By The Spirit
I’m fortunate enough to belong to an amazing house group who amongst other things, support each other in prayer. Nothing is too big or too small to pray for, and through our WhatsApp group every request is passed quickly and efficiently in the knowledge that at least a dozen people will begin to pray immediately.
On Friday night, we got a request to pray urgently for a lady who has Covid19, severe underlying health issues, was desperately ill with a raging temperature and struggling to breathe. All prayer requests are vital, but this one seemed especially crucial. Maybe it was because we received it at the time many of us were going to bed, but we all responded and we all prayed; many of us continuing to pray through the night as and when we woke up. In the morning the lady’s temperature had come down and her breathing was easier, and it seemed such an amazing answer to prayer, one of the group commenting that,
“I really felt I had taken up my shield and sword last night and was fighting the enemy.” It felt like a miracle.
Photo by Priscilla Du Preez via Unsplash
Of course not every prayer is answered in the way that we would like it to be, and many people that we’ve prayed for over the last few weeks, have not made it, but that doesn’t mean that we should stop praying. Neither should the seemingly unanswered prayers stop us celebrating those miracles that are happening. As someone else in the group said,
“He is working miracles, we need to make sure we spot them in the difficult days, to encourage us.”
Whatever we define as a miracle, when we’ve cried out to God in desperation, and the odds seem loaded against a positive outcome, to hear that the prayer has been answered in the way we prayed, feels like a miracle.
We do need to be alert to spot the miracles, but we need also to be alert to praying for those who are hurting desperately. Those who haven’t seen loved ones healed, those who are finding isolation so difficult, and those for whom this time is causing severe hardship - be it in physical, emotional or financial ways. We need to ‘take up our shield and sword and fight the enemy’ who seeks to bring fear, panic and devastation. We need to pray over those situations that have the potential to overwhelm us and the best way to do that is to come together and pray collectively.
Photo by Ruben Hutabarat via Unsplash
His presence is in us wherever we are, and wherever we go. We don’t have to be physically together to pray together. The dispersed church is still church – and in many ways, the act of praying collectively in different locations illustrates the bond that we have through the presence of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit that is in each of us draws us together in a collective act of prayer and binds us at the heart of that act. Whether we use WhatsApp groups, Zoom meetings, telephone calls or simply promise to pray at the same time for the same thing, there is something meaningful that happens when we engage in group prayer. There is also something significant that happens when we rejoice or mourn with each other.
Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petition and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the centre of your life. Philippians 4: 6-7 MSG
- Bev Jones