S76P4 – The posture of prayer: the selfless prayer for the self

James 5:16

Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.

When we were kids we spent most of our time fighting like cats and dogs.  There were moments of comradery and friendship, but my memories tell me they were few and far between.  As we grew older we also grew colder toward one another.  Of course, this behavior did not exist just between the siblings.  We also spent a considerable amount of time giving our parents one headache after another.  In my mind, we were opponents fighting for whatever we could get our way.  Honestly, I often saw my parents as the enemy.  What I did not realize was that fighting against my family meant I was fighting against myself because I was a part of them.  Sowing discord and division within the family resulted in my sowing those things in myself.

Prayer can be a very giving thing, and it is critical that we sow into our brothers and sisters selflessly in the Spirit.  Although our intention behind this intersession should be the betterment of the object of our prayer, the unity we share with the saints in the Spirit means something a little more.  Whenever we pray for the saints we actually pray for ourselves.  We are one body, and what we sow in the body is sown in us.  Although it is not our motivation, our prayers for other believers benefit us in our spirits immensely.  When we pray for healing in the body of a believer we are praying for healing in the body of the Church, and this is the very body to which we belong.  It really is the awesome grace of God that we would bear fruit in our own lives by selfless acts of prayer for others.

It is so critical that we do not view our fellow brothers and sisters as “us” and “them.”  The function of the Church is to operate as a unit instead of its independent parts.  We cannot be productive otherwise. Arguments and bad blood which tear apart to Church tear apart the individual as well.  Being united in prayer means that we are all praying for the same thing, which is a continued growth in our unity as well as growth in our individual walks.  We cannot get there if we allow anything to keep us separated.  When we neglect our fellow saints, we neglect ourselves.  Father, help us to see the Church as a unit always, and teach us how to pray with her best interest in mind.