Chapter 9: Receiving Help in Prayer From Others

Prayer partner

Whenever we pray—alone or with others—we must desire the answer that God, in his wisdom and love, knows best. The power of praying with one or two others lies in our corporate ability to discern God’s will. When we pray with others who also are submitting themselves to the will of God, we’re less likely to be deceived or to pray foolishly. Praying with a partner positions us to experience God’s greater wisdom and love as he choreographs our destinies with his loving providence.

Another reason why we should pray with a partner is to protect our prayers from selfishness. When Jesus taught his disciples to pray, he repeatedly used plural pronouns. This prayer is about us, not about me or you as individuals. Praying with a partner leads us down an unselfish path, helping to purge our prayers of self-centeredness.

We should pray with a partner because it brings unity of mind, spirit, and purpose among believers. What could be more unifying than finding common ground with another believer, possessing the same mind and voicing the same concerns? Here’s how Acts 2:1 describes the experience: “When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.” These people, who were the recipients of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost, were united in their prayers, and it brought power and results.

God’s word tells us in Matthew 18:20 “For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.”  The exact number of individuals gathered together is not as important as the content of your conversation. I personally have a small group of women in my life who share their heart, study the scriptures, and pray with and for one another. 

Find one or two women who love God, love His word, and want to live a life pleasing to our Father. Set a time and set a day of the week to come together. It doesn’t even have to be in person: maybe on the phone- a Zoom call, or on your computer- a private Facebook group. If this better fits your schedule, each person can log-on and pray with and for you when it best fits into their busy lifestyles. This may sound impersonal to you, but I know it works because this is how my prayer group is set up. If you need a more personal touch, ask one of the prayer partners to meet you for lunch to share what’s on your heart and to pray with you!

 Prayer partners help us to grow in our Christian walk and keep us accountable. If this is not happening with your partner, find one who will push you forward and closer to learning what God wants for your life and situation. It’s important to be like-minded and to have the same goal. Matthew 6:14 says, “In prayer there is a connection between what God does and what you do.” So, choose wisely someone who is ready to help accomplish your earthly prayers by tapping into what God wants and His design for us!

Cast your cares upon the Lord (1 Peter 5:7)

There are many places in Scripture that remind us that the cares and concerns of this world can become a burdensome load in our lives. ‘Independence’ proudly proclaims that it has built up a range of coping strategies and self-help skills to deal with all the stresses and strains of life, while ‘Pride’ arrogantly announces that it is well-able to go it alone – but the Word of God paints a very different picture.

We have been told by the Lord that we cannot manage our daily problems on our own, and this is a severe blow to our self-ego and fleshly-pride, which is rooted in the old sin nature. We are told that strength will be freely given, when we admit our weaknesses and inabilities, and we are charged to hand over all our cares and disappointments to the Lord, Who has promised to bear all our burdens because of His loving-kindness and tender mercy towards us.

All that is required of us is to admit, in humility if heart, our lack, and accept His gracious offer to cast all our cares on Him, knowing that He cares for us and is well able to give us help in time of need. When the cares and concerns of this world are given to the Lord in humility of heart, He pours into that life His peace that passes understanding, and we discover we have a godly wisdom, an enlarged faith, supernatural love, and His sufficient grace – despite the circumstances that hem us in on every side.

How do we cast our burdens on Him? How do we give Him our anxieties and concerns? Well, it all comes back to trusting all that the Lord has promised in His precious Word, and expecting Him to fulfil His Word. We are to expect Him to answer our prayer, but He will do so in His time and in His way – for our greater benefit and for His greater glory.

True humility is shown by our ability to cast our care upon God. It is proud presumption to take things into our own worry and care about things that God has promised to take care of (Matthew 6:31-34).

  1. If we would heed the command of 1 Peter 5:6 and truly humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God, we would have far fewer cares to cast upon Him as invited in 1 Peter 5:7. Worries about covetousness, ambition, popularity, all evaporate under the command to humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God.

Spurgeon used the illustration of a man who came to move your furniture, but he carried a huge and heavy backpack of his own. He complains that he finds it difficult to do the job of moving your furniture; would you not suggest that he would find it easier if he laid his own burden aside so that he could carry yours? In the same way, we cannot do God’s work when we are weighed down by our own burdens and worries. Cast them upon Him, and then take up the Lord’s burden – which is light burden, and a yoke that fits us perfectly.

Casting is a rather energetic word. He didn’t say, “Lay all your care upon Him,” because we have to do it more energetically than that. The idea is, “throw it away from you.” The pressures and the burdens of your life are so heavy and difficult that it takes great concentration of effort to put them on Jesus.

This work of casting can be so difficult that we need to use two hands to do it: the hand of prayer and the hand of faith. “Prayer tells God what the care is, and asks God to help, while faith believes that God can and will do it. Prayer spreads the letter of trouble and grief before the Lord, and opens ail its budget, and then faith cries, ‘I believe that God cares, and cares for me; I believe that he will bring me out of my distress, and make it promote his own glory.’” (Spurgeon)

….. I saw that the word “casting” used in 1 Peter 5:7 was the Greek word epiripto, a compound of the words epi and ripto. The word epi means upon, as on top of something. The word ripto means to hurl, to throw, or to cast, and it often means to violently throw or to fling something with great force.

Because of the Greek words used in First Peter 5:7, this verse carries the following idea:“Take that heavy burden, difficulty, or challenge you are carrying – the one that has arisen due to circumstances that have created hardship and struggles in your life – and fling those worries and anxieties over onto the back of the Lord! Let Him carry them for you! The Lord is extremely interested in every facet of your life and is genuinely concerned about your welfare.”

Experience God’s peace

For many people, peace can mean the absence of conflict or trouble. While this is a definition of peace I don’t believe that is what Jesus was talking about here. This peace that Jesus was talking about means rest, quiet or a stillness in your heart. It is not the absence of trouble, but it exists in spite of trouble.

This peace pushes through all the disturbing circumstances that life can throw at you. It gives you the ability to endure and be calm even in the face of extreme turmoil. This peace doesn’t eliminate conflict or trouble, but gives you the ability to endure through it. Consider it an inner confidence that you know God will come through in this situation, and that removes your fear and worry and replaces it with peace.

The peace that Jesus gives is far different from that. It is not dependent on circumstances. This peace flows in the midst of persecution, trouble, disappointment, confusion, and anxiety. Jesus recognizes that he would not always remove you from the challenging situations of life. He never promised to do that. What he did promise is that in spite of the situations in life, he will give you peace. 

How can we accept the peace of Jesus ?Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).

However, the path to receiving this peace comes from giving every situation to God in prayer. When you do this, God’s peace crowds out anxiety in your life. In fact, this verse literally means that peace will stand guard and watch over your mind, fighting back and keeping out all potential feelings of anxiety.

This peace doesn’t mean the situation will resolve or dissipate. In fact, the situation could get worse. Yet regardless of what happens, if you follow this instruction and give it to God in prayer, then you will experience his peace. When this peace arrives, the need to be troubled or afraid departs.

Chapter Nine Questions

  1. Pg 70    Share if you have had a prayer partner (s) and how it helped your prayer life .
  2. Pg 72   “ As we seek to cast our cares upon the Lord we need to be alert to the times that God desires to work through others to aid us “ . Bill Thrasher. How has this been experienced in your prayer life ?
  3. Pg 71    In the chapter the author mentions “ a  supernatural peace “,  and “ experience the peace that Jesus gives “ . What does this peace look like….and what it does not look like ?
  4. How in your life has “the peace that Jesus gives “been experienced ?
  5. Share insights from Chapter nine and from the notes .

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