The Empty Chair
Shari Braendel

"For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you." Colossians 1:9a (NIV)

What is one thing I would not live without?

The answer is a team of prayer warriors.

I surround myself with specific groups of women who pray for me and me for them. I have a Moms in Touch group at my son's school, an "around the world team" made up of friends in different states, local girlfriends, and P31 sisters.

For years these women have been praying for me. I have shared my dreams with them, and we have prayed together over God's calling and plans for me. The power of prayer is amazing, and we've seen God work in unbelievable ways. Let me share one instance that was undeniably prayer in action.

About two weeks ago, I was running out the door to my weekly prayer group at school. Just before I left, my husband reminded me to send an overdue e-mail. Telling him I'd do it later, he chimed, "There's no time like the present." So I quickly turned on my laptop and as I did, a new email came in.

Have you ever waited on an answer to come through email? It could be about a job, a test result, or maybe a response from a friend or family member. Regardless, you know when the answer comes it will impact your life. I was waiting on news about a ministry endeavor.

What I found in that hurried moment was an email telling me there would be a meeting at 10:00 that morning to determine the outcome of the matter. I was asked to pray that they would seek the Holy Spirit together as decisions affecting the ministry I serve in were made.

Quickly I forwarded the e-mail to my "around the world team" and headed out the door, with emotions running high. I cried all the way to the school prayer group, where I told them about the 10 o'clock meeting as well. The girls gathered around me and prayed.

When I got home, I read the prayers that had come in from my "around the world team." Bev had prayed there would be an empty chair in the room in which Jesus would be sitting, leading the conversation at the meeting.

Later that afternoon I received a call. The ministry opportunity was going forward! I had prayed about this for two years and approached it many different times. Praise God, things had moved forward in ways I never could have dreamed or imagined!

Recently, I met with one of the women who sat in the 10:00 meeting. She told me the meeting had gone so well it was as if Jesus Himself was right there in the room! I asked her what I'd wondered: "By any chance, was there an empty chair at the table?"

"Yes, as a matter of fact there was. We sat around the table with four chairs and there were only three of us." I imagined Jesus in that fourth spot.

Oh girls, the power of prayer! Believe that God will perform a miracle for you! Never, ever underestimate the power of friends praying. Find some girlfriends today and commit to praying for each other.

Dear Lord, thank You for hearing our prayers. Thank You for bringing into our lives other women who lift us up in prayer. You know the plans You have for us, dear Father, and we lift our prayers to You, waiting for Your direction and timing. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Do You Know Him?

Gather and Grow groups are the perfect place to pray with girlfriends!

Divine Prayers for Despairing Parents: Words to Pray When You Don't Know What to Say by Susanne Scheppmann

Visit Shari’s blog

Application Steps:
Pray and ask God who you should invite to be on your team of prayer warriors.

Join a Moms in Touch prayer group at your child's school or start one by going to www.momsintouch.org.

Join the Proverbs 31 Ministries' Prayer Team.

Reflections:
Do you need a miracle for your marriage, child, job or health? Pray without ceasing.

Do you have a calling that you need to take to your prayer warriors and spend some time praying over?

Power Verses:
1 Thessalonians 5:17, "Pray without ceasing." (NASB)

James 5:16b, "The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective." (NIV)

© 2009 by Shari Braendel. All rights reserved.

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11 Comments:

Blogger Theodora said...

Wow...that was very encouraging, because I woke up this morning telling myself that I should pray for a girlfriend of mine who is away at college. After praying this morning, I decided to pray again for the girlfriends who I've either prayed with constantly, prayed for, or they have prayed for me. Prayer is a sweet and intimate communication with the LORD, and He's helped me realize that. Very encouraging word once again.

Anonymous Teresa said...

Thank you Shari for this most important devo...I find myself struggling in this area right now and it has made me see how it is really important to have and become a part of a faithful prayer warriors group. Please pray that God will send or allow me to find such a group as you have on your side. Blessings.

Blogger Sharri said...

I just read this devotional and then looked up "prayer warriors" and found another devotional on March 9,2009 that helped this devotional in a practical way. I love the very term "prayer warrior" and can't wait to begin to be one again with the practicals I've been reminded of today. Thanks!!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

thanks i have acouple of friends i turn to when i need prayer and they help a lot.............

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for this timely devotional. I am in dire need of some prayer warriors. I am in a very difficult situation in my marriage and have prayed earnestly for God's direction. My husband and I are in total disagreement concerning a matter that could put us in financial jeopardy because of something his grandson wants. I don't think it's wise to take this risk. He has never been able to tell his grandson "No". Please pray for us that the Lord would open the eyes and hearts of both of us and help us be willing to submit to HIS will, not our own. I have a close friend who is praying for me along with my grown daughter. I don't have a circle of prayer warriors to call on. I would appreciate your prayers. I want His discernment and peace in my life.

That gave me goose bumps! I love when God leaves no room for question that He has been present in our circumstances! Praising God with you!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just started a bible study on prayer with my women's group. I was sent this in an email from a friend from a different circle and didn't know I was starting the study. It's amazing how God lets you know what you need to work on and who he uses to send the message.

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