The last six months of life have sucked. Can you use that word on a Christian blog? I hope you’re okay with it because I don’t know a more eloquent way to describe what I’ve experienced. I suspect that you’ve also had some sucky months at one time or another, and you can relate. If that’s true for you right now, hang in there with me and read on.
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The summer started with promise—the anticipation of a much-needed vacation, a 27th wedding anniversary, an opportunity to write again, and the capacity to do it. Then, out of nowhere, I encountered the worst trial of my life. And I am not even exaggerating when I say that. It was both unexpected and unfathomable. It was the kind of thing I’d only casually prayed against and never prepared for. I’m actually in awe of the fact that I haven’t given up. It’s proof that God is faithful.
In the last 180 days, I have wept and lamented and begged God to rescue me. It’s been a season of struggle and strain, as I’ve done my best to walk by faith and take God at His word. This grown-up Christian stuff is no joke, but the Lord does indeed give power to the weak and strength to the powerless (Isaiah 40:29). One of the ways He does that is through His people. I’m convinced we were never meant to go through trials alone.
Anyone who knows this introverted-only-child knows that’s not a conclusion I’ve come to easily. It’s much more natural for me to withdraw and power through my rough seasons alone than it is for me to open myself up to outside help. And, because the Lord knows me so well, He pointed me to this verse in Genesis right at the start of this trial. I knew He was encouraging me to rally my trained men—my believing friends who know how to war in prayer. That made all the difference on my darkest days. They texted and called with divine timing, showed up unexpectedly, spoke prophetically, sat quietly, and interceded faithfully. They have walked beside me, held me up, and even sometimes dragged me along as we’ve warred in fellowship and prayer together.
I have garnered some much-needed wisdom in this much-loathed season. I have seen the power of Christian community, the power of prayer, and more specifically, the power of intercession. There was a point at which I’d gotten so tired of praying for my own needs that I started looking for other people to pray for. That posture opened me up to hear the Lord leading my husband and me to start a new small group and join in prayer with other people in similar situations. It was refreshing to take my eyes off of my own trial to believe for someone else’s breakthrough. There was supernatural power in the prayers we prayed for each other, and it was just one more way the Lord used His people to help move me forward in a difficult time.
And, while I’m not completely on the other side of the trial, I am on the other side of that small group with renewed faith and renewed vigor to keep fighting the enemy. This is a guaranteed byproduct of joining in prayer with other believers (and it’s a surefire way to keep you from giving up in those sucky seasons). I also finished up my time in that small group with a new small group prayer guide to help others war well together. If you’re a parent experiencing a challenging time with your child, I encourage you to get a copy of Warrior Parents today. Then, rally your friends or your small group and begin warring in prayer together. I guarantee you’ll experience exponential power as you partner in prayer with others instead of facing this battle alone.