Suzie came to the edge of the stage and asked if I needed anything before I spoke to the women filling the seats. I had almost everything that I needed.
Tissues (because I almost always cry a little when I talk about Jesus). Check.
But I needed one more thing. So when Suzie asked me if I needed anything, I told her what I needed most of all:
She nodded, promised to pray, and then started to walk. But she didn’t walk away; she walked to the other side of the stage.
“Come with me,” she said, motioning me to a quiet corner.
And there, behind my podium, I knelt. She grabbed my hands and began to pray. Suzie asked for God to settle my nerves, for words to flow, and for the Holy Spirit to be present and powerful.
I was deeply moved and beyond grateful for her on-the-spot prayer. Her prayers were the fuel I needed to deliver an hour-long talk about book publishing to a room full of hopeful writers.
I didn’t know until after I returned home to Iowa that a woman in the audience, Tiffany, snapped that photo while we prayed. Like me, Tiffany was moved by Suzie’s obedience to prayer. She sent me the photo and told me this:
My readers are saying things like “I constantly feel on the outside of my relationships” or “I see other women connecting sincerely with each other, but I don’t have that kind of relationship with my friends.” I think prayer is a powerful way we connect intimately with each other.
Tiffany was right. When Suzie prayed with me, I felt a connection to God, but I also felt a connection to Suzie, who cared enough about me and the other women in the room to pray.
That’s what God intended.
For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.
Matthew 18:20 (ESV)
You can’t see God in the photo, but according to His promise, He was among us.
When I look at that photo, I think of how many times I’ve told someone I would pray, rather than actually praying in that moment. I think of how many times I’ve told someone I’d pray then completely forgot!
Sisters, let’s stop promising to pray, and start linking hands to pray on the spot. When we gather like that, we draw a deeper connection to one another, and we invite God to move powerfully in our presence.
Scripture says that one of the reasons we haven’t received God’s best for us is because we haven’t asked! I want God’s best for me, and I also want God’s best for my sisters. I want to grow in intimate friendship with God and also with His daughters. Those relationships can begin with prayer.
Let’s stop saying, “I’ll pray for you,” and start saying, “Let me pray for you now.”
I know how intimidating that can be, but we don’t have to speak in the King James version. Thou hast no time for that, unless of course, thou prefer-eth it! We don’t have to come up with all the right words. Start like this: “Hi, God. It’s us.” Then go! If you want to change the world today, kneel with someone you love and pray.
Pray at the bedside or in the cubicle. When you see a friend asking for prayer on Facebook, write a pray in the comments, or call her. Pray in the grocery store, at the dentist’s office, at the pool. Invite the Holy Spirit to move among you.
Imagine a world where we all stopped what we were doing to pray instead of promising to do it later. Prayer matters. Each of us needs to know that the shaky-voiced prayer of a Jesus Girl ripples to the highest heaven and invites a powerful force upon the earth.