A few weeks ago I was feeling completely overwhelmed. It was bad, I couldn’t even pray about it so I did the only thing I could think to do, I sent an emergency text message to some of my closest friends that said, “please pray, I’m in a bad place and I know the Lord is in this I just can’t feel Him right now.”
And within minutes the prayers started coming in and soon after I felt a bit of peace that I had been unable to attain on my own.
Well, I’ve been thinking of one of my favorite bible stories is a little piece taken from Acts 9. It’s basically the story of how Saul of Tarsus who starts of as a persecutor of Christians has an encounter with Jesus and is blinded and later becomes the Apostle Paul, etc.
Anyhow, it’s a good story but what I love about it comes in verses 10-15:
In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called to him in a vision, “Ananias!” “Yes, Lord,” he answered. The Lord told him, “Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying. In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight.”
“Lord,” Ananias answered, “I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your holy people in Jerusalem. And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name.” But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel. I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.”
Now God is the creator of the universe so it would have been pretty easy for Him to just heal Saul all on his own but NO, He decided that He wanted Ananias to intercede on Saul’s behalf so he could be healed.
When our Pastor did a series on Saul last year and went over this story it really stayed with me. Because I realized there had been too many times when I could have really used prayer but was too afraid to seek it out and ask for help. And often things did not change.
In this particular story Saul was only healed because of Ananias’ prayer. Likewise I realized that maybe some things in my own life would not change through my own prayers but that my prayers might be answered if someone else prayed on my behalf.
And friends, that’s scary because that means having to be honest and vulnerable.
But I realized that if that was what it was going to take then I needed to do it.
And I love Ananias because he’s real. He’s scared to go and confront Saul but his obedience to God outweighs his fear and so he goes. And Saul gets healed.
Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord—Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized, and after taking some food, he regained his strength.
In the last few weeks I have reached out to many Ananiases in my life. I have asked for prayer for myself, my family and especially my boy. They are praying in many ways for the same thing as Ananias, that he too would be healed from his “blindness”.
I’ve reached out to my sisters in Christ (both online and in RL), friends, family members, Pastors and our boy’s youth leaders. All wonderful people who love our family and want to see breakthrough happen.
And I can say with all certainty that there is power in those prayers. Because there’s no way that I could feel such peace in my heart and mind in all the chaos were it not for these loved ones interceding on our behalf.
The truth is no one benefits when I try to go at it alone. I miss out on true fellowship that comes with authenticity and transparency as well as prayer. And others miss out on the opportunity to bless us. And really for what? Because it doesn’t make any sense for people to think I have it all together when I really don’t.
Additionally being open and honestly sharing trials and challenges opens the door for others to share their own as well so that I can in turn be an Ananias for them.
So sweet friends, there are times when we may need to call in for backup. When our own strength and resolve may fail us and we need others to lift us up, spiritually and emotionally (maybe even physically).
Let us be open to all that God might want to do in our lives through others. And let us be always willing and ready to lift up our fellow brothers and sisters who might need an extra dose of our strength as well.
Friends, have you experienced breakthrough because of someone else’s prayers? Would love to hear about it.