“Stan,” I said, “when you are praying in a group, do you have trouble concentrating on what the other people are praying?”
“That definitely was a problem for me at one point,” Stan replied. “Especially when someone would pray on and on in detail as if God did not already know all about the situation being prayed about.”
Continuing, he then added, “But one day the Holy Spirit made it real clear to me that He wanted me to listen to the prayers of my fellow believers, regardless of how long their prayers might be.”
“Any thought as to why the Holy Spirit said that?” I asked.
“Two thoughts,” Stan replied. “First, so I would know better how to pray for that person’s situation. Second, and I think this is the most important, is so I would know what they were praying about in the event God had already set in motion an answer that might come through me.”
“Do you have an example of that?” I asked.
“I do,” he replied. “A while back I was in a prayer group at church. One of the women in the group was praying for her husband. He was very dissatisfied with his work situation and she was praying that God would open up a different job opportunity.”
Continuing, he said, “It wasn’t more than two days later that a friend of mine told me his employer was looking for additional employees. I passed that information on to the woman in the prayer group. Within a few weeks, her husband had a brand new employment situation, one he seems very happy about!”
“At least two things about that,” Stan added. “If I had not been a part of the prayer group it is likely that I would have never known of the need. Additionally, if I had not been listening to the prayers of that woman, I probably would not have been in a position to be used by God in helping her and her husband.”
“I do not believe,” Stan concluded, “that God intends that He be the only one listening to the prayers of His people!”
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be known to God. Philippians 4:6
Prayer: Thank you, Lord, that you want me to pray to you about everything. And thank you that you use your people in ways to answer prayers of other people. I confess that there are times when I do not listen to the prayers of others because I want to focus on something else. Please forgive me. And please, Lord, open me to truly listen to the prayers of others and to be open to your showing me how you have provided an answer to those prayers through me. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.