By Joan Clayton
I heard a story about a lady who saw a beautiful bald eagle soaring above a lake.
He spotted his prey in the water below and swooped down into the water. The eagle sank its talons deep into the fish, but the fish, being far too heavy, caused the eagle to sink lower into the lake.
Breathlessly, the lady watched knowing the eagle might drown any minute. Just when it seemed hopeless, two other eagles appeared. Each one went under one of the wings of their comrade and carried him to safety.
What a beautiful picture of prayer. Prayer warriors intercede for others. They carry others on wings of faith and love. I love the Living Bible translation of James 5:16: “Admit your faults to one another and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous man has great power and wonderful results.”
Prayer warriors “build a hedge’ and “stand in the gap” for others with their prayers. The importance of this concept is demonstrated in Ezekiel 22:30: “And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.”
I like to think prayers build walls of love around those prayed for. Those walls are built with sincere care and concern, promoting positive affirmations that enhance healing and well being.
Sometimes our walls have cracks of illness, loss or other problems but love and concern makes the cracks disappear. In times of crisis we desperately need each other.
Praying for others requires sacrifice, motivated by love. The act of praying for someone else is one of the highest pinnacles of unselfishness.
The prayer of agreement moves mountains according to Matthew 18:19: “Also, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about something and pray for it, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. This is true because if two or three people come together in my name, I am there with them” (NCV).
Recent medical studies have stated that prayer has a dramatic and vital beneficial effect upon sick bodies. Patients had less pain and recuperated from surgery faster with prayer.
We “wrestle not with flesh and blood.” We fight an unseen enemy whose mission is “to steal, kill and destroy.” God’s purpose is to give life in abundance” (John 10:10).
We are in a war on this earthly planet and that is why we use every piece of God’s armor to resist the enemy whenever he attacks, and when it is all over, we will still be standing.
So we do not whine and resign. We press on. We endure. We try again. We keep going. No matter how hard the struggle, we run to win. Jesus did not quit. Praise God he didn’t! He fought the fight and won the victory.
When you go through a hard place. Don’t stop. If you do, you’re going to be tormented day and night. Just keep right on going. Set your face like a flint and plow right through. Say to the enemy:
“I’m coming through. You cannot stop me for the Greater One lives in me. Get out of my way!” In these days of peril how we need to pray. “He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him” (Psalm 91:15 NIV).
“Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so God can heal you. When a believing person prays, great things happen” (James 5:16 NCV).
Prayer is a lifesaver in a sea of troubled waters.
Joan Clayton is a retired teacher and religion columnist living in Portales.