In my longing for Him, more and more I want to be aware of the Body of Christ worldwide. I have a physical sister in Walnut Cove, but a spiritual sister in Uganda. I have a blood-kin brother in Dry Hollow, but a blood-bought brother in Colombia.
I don’t know what they look like in the flesh, but when we all get to Heaven, I KNOW that I will recognize them in the spirit. I have never met them, but I love them. They may not have the blood of Tom and Judy Bray flowing through their physical veins, but they have my Father’s blood coursing through their spiritual arteries.
Have you ever awakened in the night feeling the need to intercede, yet you have no idea whom to pray for? For all you know, you are making intercession for an anonymous believer on the other side of the world or maybe even in your own town.
What a comfort to know that the favor may often be returned! When you are going through a tough time and feel all alone, rest assured that your Father has someone praying for you. A little old man in India may be working in the field and suddenly feel the need to pray in the Spirit–things that he doesn’t understand in the natural. But that prayer may be for you, and you will never know it.
But God knows it. And that prayer of obedience does not go forth void.
In this workaday world, we get so wrapped up in our own lives, our own needs, our own troubles, that it is easy to forget to pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ–the other members of our very own Body. I have felt the Lord dealing with me more and more, when I am in need of prayer, to stop and pray for others–when I feel that I need attention, to show attention to someone else–when I wish someone would care about me, to reach out to care for someone else.
This was burned into my soul more than ever last Sunday morning at Times of Refreshing. The Lord led us straight into the Word without any singing or organized prayer. But after I exhorted my sisters and brothers about the need for Him to be increased in our lives, I felt the need for a time of worship before we went our separate ways.
As we sang and worshiped to “O Glorious Day” by Casting Crowns, I could feel the presence of the Lord so sweetly. I wanted to give Him every part of me, so I attempted to lift the right arm that has been hindered for over six months. In the past two weeks, I had been unable to lift it at all.
That may seem like no big deal to you, but you have to know me: I am a girl who goes all out if I’m going to do something. I don’t want to lift just one hand; I want them both up in the air in praise. No matter how hard I strained, the right arm was too weak and the pain too excruciating for me to be able to raise it. So I ceased trying.
Until the next song.
As Chris Tomlin began to sing, “How Great Is Our God,” I entered into such a state of worship that before I knew it, I had done something almost unconsciously. I used my left arm to raise my weakened right arm into the air. Once I got it up and held it there with the left hand for a minute, it stayed up there on its own with no pain. I was ecstatic as I praised the Lord with both hands lifted high.
And then it hit me: this is what God wants us to do in the Body of Christ. When we see a member who is weakened, who is in pain–it is our Christian duty to lift them up. They are part of our Body, just as my right arm–though seemingly useless–is part of my body. My stronger left arm stepped in to lift it up where it then found strength to stay for a time. Once the right arm was down and again too weak to move, my left arm could intercede once more. . .and again and again. . .as long as was needed for the right hand to regain its own strength.
Tears of joy began to flow down my face as the reality of this powerful lesson hit me. The stronger members of the Body of Christ MUST step in to support other members of the Body who are weakened through trial and tribulation. My right hand was once my stronger hand, but right now it needs help. We may be standing strong today, but there will most certainly come a time when we need other saints of God to provide support for us.
Do you know someone who is hurting? Can you think of a fellow believer who is not standing strong right now? Ask God what you can do to support them. Maybe it’s a handwritten card of appreciation, perhaps it’s a phone call just to say you are thinking of them; it could be a hug and a whispered, “I love you and am praying for you.” Most of all, lift them up in prayer to the Lord.
Because ole Bill Withers knew what he was talking about when he sang: “Lean on me, when you’re not strong, and I’ll be your friend, I’ll help you carry on, For it won’t be long, ’til I’m gonna need, somebody to lean on.”
“That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.” (I Corinthians 12:25-26)
(Click on the link below to hear the old classic, “Lean On Me,” by Bill Withers. Great song!)