One of the greatest rewards for living a life of service to others is the personal satisfaction that we have been faithful to do what the Lord has taught us to do through His example and by His words.This is especially evidenced when we apply what we learned last week with regards to bearing one another’s burdens. God has so designed His plan for our lives that our obedience always brings with it blessings. He knows that many of our own spiritual and emotional needs can be met by simply doing what He has commanded. And bearing one another’s burdens certainly helps fulfill those needs.
Last week we spent some time on the how’s of bearing one another’s burdens and discovered that we must remain humble as we do so, be gentle when restoration is needed, and that we are to bear the burden as long as it takes. Now let’s begin to look at some of the way’s we put all of this into practice.
One of the first ways that comes to mind is intercessory prayer. This is likely the best tool we have to help accomplish the task but often times is the one least used. I think we don’t really understand how powerful it can be and therefore fail to apply it with a real anticipation of success. In order for prayer to be the most effective, we must realize that there are some requirements on our part that Jesus emphasized in His model prayer he gave His disciples and thus us. As He instructed us to include the request for forgiveness of our debts or trespasses, He added the condition “as we forgive our debtors” or “those who trespass against us”. These are not mere words. They mean that he forgives us with the same measure as we forgive others. In other words, for us to have the right relationship with Him we must first have the right relationship with others. I believe this stands in way many times of our prayers being as effective as they could be. But once we can reach the point of true forgiveness of others, the door is opened for great things to occur.
I have known a number of true prayer warriors during my lifetime and my dad and my grandmother top the list. Along with the others I have known, I would rather have them interceding for me or my family than anybody else I know. I am convinced that they knew the “secret” of powerful prayer and that God honored their requests on many occasions. As a matter of fact, I am an example of many of those prayers that were answered. Their burden for me and my lost condition helped bring me to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ my Lord. So, from my own experience, I know the power of intercessory prayer to help bear another’s burden. I only wish that I could say I really use it like I should. I pray that someday I will!
Next week we will continue along this same line of thought. We will look at some more ways to help bear one another’s burdens in our life of service to others. But until then, I plan to work on my own intercessory prayer life. Wouldn’t it be a wonderful thing if all of us had the prayer life He wants and expects us to have? May it be so!