Today a friend of ours was on my mind. I don’t always do a good job of praying for those who come to my mind, even though I know I should. But, today I prayed for him. I know that he is facing a tough time at work, and I know he has a challenging job where people (even his friends) are sometimes unhappy with the decisions he has to make. I sent him a text, just a quick word of support to let him know that Chad and I appreciate and pray for him. I suppose I was expecting that he needed the encouragement.
What I didn’t expect is that I would be encouraged, too. Our friend replied right away, telling me that he had gotten up early to walk through the neighborhood before work, and that he had prayed for us as he walked past our house. And, just like that, in two text messages, the Lord let both our friend’s family and mine know that He is moving. That He is empowering and encouraging our church through our prayers for one another. He showed us that He is working here, through friendship and accountability, through an obligation to each other as brothers and sisters in Christ.
I believe that this is some of the most beautiful work of the church. It’s the little ways that we gird each other up that make all the difference as we walk this narrow path together. When we pray for each other, when we take just a few seconds to reach out, even if we are just saying, “Hey, I see what you’re doing, and I appreciate it,” we are building a stronger body, one that is a true family, a team, and a source of endless encouragement.
I wonder how often God has brought someone to my mind, only to watch me push the thought away because I was too distracted by my phone or a child or my own problems? The Bible tells us to encourage each other and build each other up, but I fear that we get so wrapped up in ourselves that we sometimes miss opportunities to do so. I know that I do.
Today I’m thankful for the reminder. As churches, we should pray for each other and when we do, we should let each other know. I can’t think of a better way to remind each other that God is at work in our hearts, in our minds, in our relationships. I’m grateful for the encouragement sent my way today by a friend who humbled himself before the Lord on my account. This is one way God builds a church that thrives.