United in Prayer: Together We Flourish
To be honest, I didn’t know what to expect. I just knew to be expecting.
God was getting ready to do something big, something different, something that would challenge us all. But something that was hoped for in the deep recesses of our being.
Not just any connection, but a kinship that would be brought together and nurtured by the Holy Spirit Himself.
So the call went out. God was gathering women from all over the city to come together to pray for an event that was going to unite a larger group of women from diverse backgrounds with the commonality of Jesus. As I began to pray about our time together, I was drawn to read the book of Nehemiah.
At first, I didn’t understand why, because I remembered it being about rebuilding a wall. In my mind, I was thinking, we need to tear down some walls in order to get people comfortable even being together. I quickly began to understand that prayer and relationship were going to be the key to connect the hearts of the women.
Like Nehemiah, God was using us to rebuild and restore some things that had been broken down over hundreds of years of conflict and division.
Nehemiah was very strategic in using two tools specifically – prayer and relationship.
Throughout every step of his journey, he would stop and pray before the next step and listen for direction. He knew the task set before him was impossible without God, just as we do today. He also knew that he needed other people to accomplish his goal of rebuilding the wall. He started out surveying the land with a few others who didn’t even know what God had put in his heart yet.
This reminds me of the first time our small group of women got together. We heard the call and joined together to pray around the what – uniting people from different races and generations – but without the how.
Just like with Nehemiah, God began to give us strategies.
He began to connect the heart of the women from different backgrounds, cultures, generations and experiences. I was literally seeing His word come to pass.
“For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” Matthew 18:20
“Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” James 5:16
Women were sharing their stories, confession and repentance were taking place and hearts were being healed. Prophetic words were being spoken over each other and God’s compassion was flowing like a river.
I was in awe of what God was doing.
He had set us all up, and it was so good.
As we continued to meet once a month, our prayer night grew and more women were being able to join in these awesome spirit-filled gatherings and we began to get more strategies. Relationship began to build on individual and collective levels.
Just as in the book of Nehemiah, the enemy would come to taunt and distract, we were faced with some challenges, but we stood together side-by-side and said,
“We will not come down.”
“The work is great and extensive, and we are separated far from one another on the wall. Wherever you hear the sound of the trumpet, rally to us there. Our God will fight for us.” (Nehemiah 4:19-20)
Our world is broken and there is work to be done. We choose to continue in prayer, and we are still rallying around each other when we hear the sound of the trumpet or in modern language the group chat ding. I thank God that He united us first in prayer and then continues to connect us and grow us up in ways that only He can do.
As I was leaving my house the other day, I saw this rosebush. To me, it gave the example of what has been taking place. God is joining us one-by-one into a bouquet of flowers. The bouquet in the middle is flourishing. The stand alone flowers are dying. We need each other. God created us to be in relationship. Stand on the wall for each other in prayer and link arms, because together we are better!
“How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!” (Psalm 133:1)
Tina loves to teach and build others up. She is a mother of two creative young adult children, and also has many extended children that she covers in prayer and cares for. She graduated from Portland State University with a Masters in Education and has been teaching for over 16 years, and pastoring children at her church for many years. Tina loves going to the beach, writing and spending time with her family.