Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Take a Risk?

An excerpt from...

Take a Risk?


By Twana Johnson, Missionary, Mexico
January-March 2015

Take a Risk?
I just got off the phone from talking and praying with my prayer partner who happens to live in another country. We are so thankful for modern technology that allows us to be able to do this for free. What an encouragement she was to me! And what a privilege that she not only trusts me with her burdens, but also that I can be vulnerable with her. I know that when we are done praying, she still likes me and respects me.

It made me think about prayer partners. Many have prayed for us over the years. I still have those who prayed for me as a child growing up on the mission field. Those prayers have been invaluable. Praying with someone on a regular basis not only brings encouragement but also deepens one’s faith, relationship, and spiritual growth.
When we first moved into the city of Santa Cruz, Bolivia, we lived close to other missionaries. At that time, our kids were small. The other couples had kids in boarding school. We ladies decided to get together and pray for our children on a regular basis. This was very helpful for me as the other ladies were older and wiser and could give advice on raising children overseas. It also provided an emotional and spiritual support base for me, a new missionary with so much to learn. It also helped with the interpersonal relationships of people living so close to each other. When you pray together, it is hard to have grudges! That bond is still there to this day. The three of us still get together or call as often as possible to share and pray for our kids, grandkids, and great-grandkids. The Lord has blessed me.

Through the years, I have been privileged to have other prayer partners—my age and younger (my turn to encourage the younger generation). What a blessing that has been to our lives. I firmly believe that many prayers have been answered because of this. This has also helped tremendously in times of stress or discouragement; someone else helps bring those burdens to the Lord. As the Bible says, “Bear each other’s burdens” (Galatians 6:2). Sometimes all we’ve needed is someone safe to express these with and then we have been able to sort it out.

Do you have a prayer partner? (Some may call it an accountability partner). If you do, you know what I’m talking about. If you don’t, look around—maybe someone else needs that encouragement of bearing each other’s burdens. Remember, prayer partners are just that. This is not a time to complain about others or gossip; it is a time to pray for each other. You both need to remember that the other trusts you with their burdens, so honor that trust and don’t share it with others unless given permission. Remember to pray for those requests throughout the week. It may take a couple of times before you develop trust. Trust God to show you. And if your friend lets you down (this can happen, but usually not intentionally), remember why you are praying together, and forgive. The benefits far outweigh the risks, and sharing makes the load lighter. I pray that you will rejoice in those benefits.

MoreMORE: If you are looking for other resources to help you pray, visit WGM’s Pinterest page at www.pinterest.com/wgmpins.
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