Members of the Body of Christ

January 18, 2013

Today’s Reflection

WE ARE NOT isolated Christians. The New Testament was written to communities, new gatherings of Christians, who depended on one another in keeping this new faith alive. A prominent heresy in our time is that personal faith trumps everything else, that God speaks to the individual heart, that my own response to the gospel is all that matters. While the faith is personal, it is only so in relation to the historic faith, into which we are baptized, and the body of Christ — the church — in which we worship, study, pray, and serve. …

The first Christians prayed for one another, in Temple worship and in their homes.  It happens even now. We pray with a family … as someone has died or as a youth mission team returns home safely or as someone goes into surgery. … We ask. We confess. We say thank you. Christians are people who pray. Prayer is essential, as natural and as necessary as breathing. …

Intercessory prayer disciplines us to remember this truth. The sorrow of someone else becomes my sorrow. The struggle of a friend weighs upon me. And the accomplishment of a friend helps me to see my own world in a brighter hue. … I am not the body of Christ. I am a member of the body.

- Kenneth H. Carter Jr
“Pray for Me”

From pages 60-61 of “Pray for Me”: The Power in Praying for Others by Kenneth H. Carter Jr. Copyright © 2011 by Kenneth H. Carter Jr. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

Do you pray regularly with a friend or family member? If so, what advice would you give to a person who would like to practice this discipline?Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

12:7 To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.
1 Corinthians 12:7, NRSV

This Week: pray for those you find difficult to love. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section below.

Did You Know?

Caring volunteers are available to pray with you. Call 1-800-251-2468 or request prayer online. The Upper Room Living Prayer Center receives 500 prayer requests each day and prays for each request by name and need.

Saints, Inc.:

This week we remember Anthony of Egypt (January 11).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Sponsored by Upper Room Ministries ®. Copyright © 2012, a ministry of GBOD | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

robert moeller January 18, 2013 at 4:13 am

Anneliese and I pray for meals we receive. We pray for each other and for others near and dear to us. We pray for other people, in and out of church, and for situations around the world.

Lord keep us moving toward loving all the people of your creation as you love us.

Thank you Lord, a grandchild is about to be born today. I ask for a safe trip to see the parents, Jenny and Chris, the baby, and the baby’s other grandparents. It will be a wonderful day.

Lord I pray too for the Christian Unity Breakfast Saturday at church, guide us all that we may resolve according to your plan the differences that divide us. We are thankful for the ties that bind our hearts to each other through you. In your name I pray, Amen

Reply

Jill January 18, 2013 at 6:26 am

Praying with one or two other friends is a very moving experience for me. Often, I become quite emotional. The nakedness of baring ones soul to the Almighty is humbling. I treasure these opportunities.

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Barbara January 18, 2013 at 10:20 am

Jill, your one sentence struck a deep chord in me as it describes exactly how I feel, what I do and now I know why. “The nakedness of baring ones soul to the Almighty is humbling.” Thank you for these words which speak to my heart and bring clarity to my mind. Bless you!

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Mary Ng Shwu Ling January 18, 2013 at 6:37 am

Praying for one another and with a prayer partner or cell group members are important. We can encourage, edify and build up one another even through prayer. We also grow in our faith as our prayers are answered.

Thank you Sovereign God for the privilege of prayer and prayer changes things, people and situations.

I remembered praying with a friend who could not get along with her helper. After praying for a few months, my friend and her helper became good friends. It is a miracle.

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Buzz January 18, 2013 at 4:27 pm

All excellent sharing.
The advice I offer. Start by holding hands with your partner in quietude the first time until you’re both comfortable holding hands. The holding of hands is instrumental to doubling the power of your coupled prayers. As we gather, talk aboout what you’re thinking about praying. This gives your parrtner advanced warning of where you wish to travel in your prayers this time. Claim who’s first, though a good idea is to start with a shared prayer. Then just do it. Possibly a little clumbsy the first 2 – 3 times. But, you 3 will get smoother.

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Betsy January 18, 2013 at 9:03 pm

I have learned the beauty and power of group prayer through the Emmaus Community. Being able to share those most personal struggles and praises is such an honest, raw experience. Lifting others up in concert with other like minded Christians helps bring me closer to my God!

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