by Kimberley Payne (reprinted with permission)
When I was a teenager, I read Dale Carnegie’s book, How to win friends and Influence People. I was intrigued by his simple advice that to win friends all you needed to do was to become genuinely interested in them. To show interest, all you needed to do was to ask questions and listen to their responses.
But for me, even better than being listened to is being prayed for. I am delighted to have formal prayer partners and be a member of prayer groups.
One such partner is JoAnn. We met briefly at a 3-day women’s conference in the States. When we first arrived at this conference, the organizers took our photos. On the last day, we were given the picture of another woman – our prayer partner. I keep a picture of her beside my computer. She is posed in front of a stone fireplace with a shy smile. On the back of the photo, I have written her name and address with the names of her husband and two grown children. Although I have not talked to JoAnn in over a year, I pray for her regularly and I am confident that she prays for me.
I am also a member of a Christian writers’ group, The Word Guild. I have joined a smaller team within this group, aptly called the Prayer Team. Members of the Guild submit their prayer requests via email, and we pray for these people. On top of that, the organizer picks four specific members to pray for each week. Many of these people I may never meet and may know nothing more than their names. But I pray for them regularly and I am confident that they pray for me.
Lastly, at my church, a programme called Secret Sisters has been introduced. I filled out an information form, including my favourite scripture verse, and submitted it to the organizer. In return, I received the name of a church “sister” to pray for over the next year. At the end of the year, we will reveal ourselves to our secret sisters. I pray for my sister regularly and am confident that she prays for me.
I hold these partners in high esteem and count them as some of my best friends. There is power in prayer. If you are not already praying for someone specific, I challenge you to seek out a partner.
“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints” (Ephesians 6:18 NIV).
Kimberley is a motivational speaker and author. Her writings relate raising a family, pursuing a healthy lifestyle, and everyday experiences to building a relationship with God. Through her work, Kimberley hopes to inspire people to live lives that glorify God. You can visit her website at www.kimberleypayne.com