Article by: Sarah Koontz, Founder of Living by Design Ministries
My aunt likes to say, “Prayer is part of our benefits package,” and she is so right!
Prayer strips us down and rebuilds us, humbles and inspires us, and teaches us to believe.
I’ve always been a firm believer in the power of prayer, but I simply preferred to do in the privacy of my own home—in the quiet of my own heart.
You know, that secret place where no one could judge me or make me feel like I was doing it wrong.
But then, I read James 5:16, “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.”
Confess your sins to one another.
Pray with one another.
That sounds a whole lot like a command, doesn’t it?
It takes a lot of courage to confess our sins to one another, to pray with each other, to share our burdens with our brothers and sisters in Christ.
But there is power when we walk in obedience and promise when we choose to pray as a community.There is power when we walk in obedience and promise when we choose to pray as a community.
Today, I will be extending a heartfelt invitation to you—asking you to join our online prayer community here at Living by Design Ministries.
I have had the privilege of praying for many of you over the years, and I am so excited to offer a way for you all to pray for and be encouraged by one another.
But first, I’d like to share a bit of my prayer journey with you.
My Prayer Journey
A couple of years ago, I stumbled upon a woman’s prayer group at my church.
My motivation for joining was not rooted in a desire to pray, but rather a desire to spend time with a friend who was leading the group temporarily.
But one prayer session with those ladies and I was hooked.
There is an amazing connection that happens between souls who pray with one another.There is an amazing connection that happens between souls who pray with one another.
I could not explain it, but I knew I needed more of it.
I have been attending this prayer group faithfully ever since, and the women have quickly become my confidants and cheerleaders.
I am the by far the youngest person in our group, but that makes it all the more special!
Our commitment to prayer is the bond that unites us.
The ladies in my group express boldness in their prayers, passion for God’s truth, and a deep belief that God hears and answers their prayers.
The more that I pray with these women, the more I want to pray with every woman.Prayer strips us down and rebuilds us, humbles and inspires us, and teaches us to believe.
These women have helped me overcome my own fears of praying in a group. They have taught me how to become bold and brave in my own prayers.
Every time we meet there is answered prayer to celebrate—a house sold, a friend saved, a wound healed.
There are also deep needs and painful losses to share—a pastor in our community with terminal cancer, a precious friend who just miscarried, a marriage on the cusp of divorce.
I feel like I lose 5 pounds every time I meet with these women to pray—because together we lay our heavy burdens down at the foot of the cross, and we walk away, trusting that God is able.
Matthew 18:19-20 says, “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.“
When we choose to unite our hearts in prayer with other women, God promises to meet with us and hear our requests!When we choose to unite our hearts in prayer with other women, God promises to meet with us and hear our requests!
An Invitation to Join Us in Prayer
If you aren’t already meeting regularly to pray with other Christians, I would encourage you to seek out a group today.
If you don’t have a local group to join, I’d like to invite you to participate in our online prayer community.
To this end, we have set up a prayer wall at LivingbyDesign.org/Prayer.
This is a place where you can regularly share your own prayer requests, and faithfully pray for others.
And you can do it all from the comfort of your own home.
I am excited to share this new resource with you, and cannot wait to see lives changed through the power of prayer.
I truly do not believe I would be where I am today without the faithful prayers of my prayer group, and I want you to experience the blessings and benefits of engaging in a prayer community too.
God is mighty and He is waiting for us to unite together and ask, seek, knock.
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” -Matthew 7:7-8Check out this awesome new online prayer community where you can regularly share your own prayer requests and faithfully pray for others.
3 Compelling Reasons to Join Our Online Prayer Community
By taking a step out of our comfort zone and into a vibrant prayer community, we are embracing a lifestyle of prayer. And prayer has the power to change everything!
#1 – We offer a safe space for you to share your prayer requests.
“Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” -Hebrews 4:16
Sometimes our deepest struggles are too painful, too raw, too vulnerable to share with the people in our life. Because of this, we keep them inside and are cut off from the life-changing power of engaging in a vibrant prayer community.
When you post a prayer request on the Living by Design Prayer Wall, you are free to do so anonymously. If you are in need, we are here for you. Even if we don’t know your name, God does!3 Compelling Reasons to Join Our Online Prayer Community
#2 – We offer a safe space for you to practice praying for others.
“With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints.” -Ephesians 6:18
A few years ago, one of my friends expressed a deep desire to learn how to pray in the presence of others. The idea terrified her at first, but she committed to practicing, and it was such a joy to watch her grow and flourish in this way.
Whenever there was an opportunity to pray in public (before a meal, at the beginning of small group time, when a friend shared a burden) she was the first to volunteer.
I knew she was scared and uncomfortable in the beginning, but the more she practiced the more confident she became. She taught me that prayer is something we can practice and get better at; actively engaging in our online prayer community is a great first step! You can learn how to pray for each other in private, infusing your heart with confidence when opportunities arise to pray in public.
#3 – We offer a safe space for you to lay your burdens down.
Cast your burden on the Lord, and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken. -Psalm 55:22
There is power in writing down our burdens. The humble act of verbalizing our concerns and asking others to pray for us infuses our hearts with a burst of courage. Knowing we don’t have to carry it alone any more gives us the strength we need to set it down and walk away.
God has promised us his “yoke is easy and his burden is light (Matt. 11:30),” yet we often carry an abundance of burdens into our everyday life. By regularly sharing requests with our online prayer community, you are learning how to lay those burdens down at the foot of the cross.
A Few Closing Thoughts
As part of my own personal commitment to prayer, and my desire to bathe all we do at Living by Design Ministries in prayer, I will be faithfully sharing my own requests with our online prayer community.
God has done a tremendous work in my heart and life over the past few years, and I can trace it all back to the faithful prayers of my sisters in Christ.
And I realize, now more than ever, how desperately I need prayer as I humbly walk out my calling to write Bible studies for this ministry.
We are stronger together than we could ever be alone, and I can’t wait to see what God has in store for our Living by Design online prayer community!