“You are my hiding place and my battle-covering. I put my hope in Your Word.” Psalm 119:114 NLV
I have a group of very dear friends whom I've never met face to face. We are actually all part of a Internet writing group, sharing our love of the writing craft, critiquing each other's work,
But over the past 5+ years that we have known each other, we have become a very close-knit bunch, sharing the ups and downs of life and especially praying for one another..
I'm not sure where it started, but during a particularly difficult time for one of the gals, another one closed her e-mail with the illustration of a line of ancient soldiers in battle, with their shields locked together. As long as the army advanced together, the arrows of the enemy couldn't get through their wall of shields and they would all protect each other. She ended her e-mail of encouragement with the words, "shields locked."
Whenever one of us is going through a hard time, we can count on the others to pray.We lock our shields together and advance into the enemy's territory, protecting our vulnerable needy, sister behind the wall of shields as we advance her prayer request to God's throne.
It's more important than ever that we band together in prayer. If we try to go it alone during these difficult times, we may become fatigued, depressed and overcome by the trials of life. But if we align ourselves with others who can surround us in prayer when we are most vulnerable, we will be better able to get through the trials
If you're not part of a group that prays, begin to ask God to help you find a prayer partner or prayer support group. Join or start a small group Bible Study where relationships can be built - including prayer relationships.
Remember that friendships take time and care to cultivate, but as they grow and are nurtured, will offer solid, strong support. My online writers' group grew into the supportive group it is today through several online Bible studies where we chatted in real time. It didn't just happen over night.
Check to see if there is some kind of local organization in your community that is centered with prayer. We have a Christian Women's organization in my community that features monthly "prayer coffees." I've been attending them for two years now and have been watching the group gel together and become a strong support system through prayer.
If needed, take advantage of ministries that offer phone-in prayer lines. While they won't give you the support you need for long-term trials, they will help in the short-term. Speak to a pastor for help in finding prayer support.
We were never meant to fight life's battles alone! Prayer is the best weapon to fight against life's difficulties and is most effective when done with others. Shields Locked!
Thank you Lord, for friends who are willing to go with me into the battle through prayer and lock their shields around me when I need it! Amen.