Samuel Mills and four of his friends often gathered together to pray for God to send more people to share the good news of Jesus. One day in 1806, after returning from their prayer meeting, they got caught in a thunderstorm and took refuge in a haystack. Their weekly prayer gathering then became known as the Haystack Prayer Meeting, which resulted in a global mission movement. Today the Haystack Prayer Monument stands at Williams College in the US as a reminder of what God can do through prayer.
Our heavenly Father is delighted when His children approach Him with a common request. It’s like a family gathering where they’re united in purpose, sharing a common burden.
The apostle Paul acknowledges how God helped him through the prayers of others during a time of severe suffering: “He will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers” (2 Corinthians 1:10–11). God has chosen to use our prayers—especially our prayers together—to accomplish His work in the world. No wonder the verse continues: “Then many will give thanks . . . [for the] answer to the prayers of many.”
Let’s pray together so we can also rejoice together in God’s goodness. Our loving Father is waiting for us to come to Him so He can work through us in ways that reach far beyond anything we could ever imagine.
What request can you and others pray for? How has your faith been strengthened when you pray with others?
Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians, more than any of his other New Testament letters, expresses his willingness to do whatever it took to share the heart of Christ (1:3–11; 2:4; 4:7–12; 6:3–10; 11:16–29; 12:6–10). While knowing that some would accuse him of boasting, he wanted his readers to know how deeply he cared for them in the Spirit of Christ who had suffered not only for him, but also for them. In the process, he became a living reflection of the God who, at His own expense, sacrificially intervened, mediated, and interceded for us, so that we in turn could lead and intercede on behalf of others. His prayer is that his readers would join him in discovering for themselves hope in the face of death, strength in weakness, courage in fear, and joy in answered prayer.