I found one of the best ways to fulfill Jesus’ command to “Go and make disciples of all nations” is by praying with others. When you pray with another person somehow you enter into God’s Holy presence and His Spirit seals your hearts together with His. Over my years serving in the ministry I have witnessed this as one of the most powerful tools of following in the steps of Jesus. For my marriage, family, and friendships prayer has been the key to growing into a deeper love for Jesus and true care and concern for the person I am praying with.
Several years ago I was at a retreat in the San Bernardino Mountains teaching a group of high school students. This was where I first met Rick. He was a chaperone for the weekend and his strong handshake and infectious laugh was enough to make me sure to remember who he was. Later, I came to find out that Rick was a general contractor in the rough and tough construction world and as I had also done some summer construction work we hit it off immediately. However the real lasting impression came about when he spoke these sincere words to me, “Young man keep it up, I’m praying for you.” By the end of the retreat this man I had just met left a mark on my heart, somehow I was mysteriously connected to Rick, I attribute this to the fact that his was praying for me.
Years later I was one of the pastors at church Rick attended. What a joy for me to see him again especially since we already had a spiritual bond through prayer. I was particularly happy when the church started a Wednesday night prayer meeting and one of the first people to show up was Rick. For the last 9 years Rick has been at pretty much every prayer meeting except when he was in the hospital. Unfortunately Rick has experienced several severe health issues and this has taken a huge toil on his body. Yet, even then he would often escape from the hospital with tubes attached to his body in order to join this group at prayer.
God has used Rick and his prayers to disciple more people than he will ever know. Every Sunday he goes to the front of church and prays over anyone who has a need and rejoices with others when a prayer is answered! And his prayers won’t stop there, he WILL remember to bring you before the presence of the Father all week and until there are answers. While serving at the church I could always anticipate a call from Rick, and many other staff members would attest to his weekly phone call of encouragement. He truly wanted to know how our week was going and if we had any prayer needs. Even now that I live in Colorado, once a week I can count on a call from Rick asking how Oceans is doing and offering up prayers.
Because of his prayers and time spent praying together, I look to Rick as one of my spiritual fathers who has helped me grow deeper in my love relationship with the Heavenly Father. This once rough and tough construction guy, who played a wild defensive end for UCLA, has become a prayer warrior who has impacted lives far and wide.
During this prayer challenge obey Jesus’ command by making “disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19-20) by praying with your wife, kids, co-workers, neighbors, friends, even strangers and watch what your Mighty Father will do in your heart and the hearts of those you are praying with. Prayer brings Heaven to earth and unleashes the Kingdom of God. As Jesus says, “For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them,” (Matthew 18:20).