40 Days of Prayer 2024: Day 26

Today, we are on Day 26, and our first day focusing on the practice of Community with Jesus.

(You can catch up on Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, Day 6, Day 7, Day 8, Day 9, Day 10, Day 11, Day 12, Day 15, Day 17, Day 18, Day 19, Day 20, Day 21, Day 22, Day 23, Day 24, Day 25 if you missed them)

After spending five wonderful days looking at our time alone with God in silence and solitude, today we are focusing on community. This wasn’t an accident. We can see a rhythm in the life of Jesus where He moves from time alone with His Father to time spent in community. And so should we!

When we began our time on solitude and silence with Jesus, I could not see how we would fill five days, but the Lord provided! I feel the opposite on this one. People are messy and complicated and many of our group have been hurt from past experiences with leadership abuses of power. But people are also beautiful, and the friendships that come from following Jesus together are more satisfying than anything you’ll do alone. There’s so much we could cover.

As we seek to grow our relationship with Jesus and become more like Him, we will find that one of the greatest tools He uses to form us is each other. I might see myself as a very patient, forgiving, easy-going person—until I’m around others in close community.  And then, I discover just how much further I have to go. Our rough edges tend to bump up against the rough edges of others, revealing the places we need to grow. As challenging as this is, it is a feature of God’s design for community, not a flaw. We need each other!

Being in community isn’t all rough edges and growth, though. It’s an incredible blessing and adventure! We are His body. We have different functions and gifts, and we are all needed to complete God’s work—in us, in each other, and in the world. God designed His Kingdom to function by us coming together in Him in unity: one body, with many parts.

The way God designed our bodies is a model for understanding our lives together as a church: every part dependent on every other part, the parts we mention and the parts we don’t, the parts we see and the parts we don’t. If one part hurts, every other part is involved in the hurt, and in the healing. If one part flourishes, every other part enters into the exuberance. 1 Corinthians 12:25-26 MSG

Seeing God work in the lives of others is an incredible blessing. Getting to work with God in the lives of others is even better! That is not only an invitation—it’s the requirement to follow Him. We cannot be His body alone.

The Body of Christ is meant to be the place where we celebrate God’s goodness together. It is where we worship together, read Scripture together, and pray together. It is where we grieve loss and pain together. It is where we hear God for each other. It is where we discern God’s movements and His call together. It is where we come for support and love. It is where we come when we are struggling.

We all need trusted friends of Jesus who can tell us when we get off course, who we can open up to about the thoughts we are struggling with, and who can help us spot the lies the enemy is speaking to us. We need each other.

Because of this, you are likely praying prayers right now that God will only answer through others. If there is something you’ve been praying for a long time but haven’t heard any response from God on it, ask others to pray with you and for you. Bring others around you in prayer. There are no lone rangers in following Jesus. We, the body of Christ, need each other. Following Jesus requires community. 

I’m really excited to see how the Lord moves in your lives during this focus on community!

Reflection for prayer and/or journaling:

Have you viewed your walk with God as mostly just you and Jesus? Imagine life with the community Jesus has for you. What might it look like? What changes would it require of you?

Action steps:

Consider the rhythm we see in the life of Jesus: time alone with His Father, and then in community with others. The strength and clarity of the secret place with God are needed for time with others. It allows us both to share from the overflow of this time with others and receive from theirs. How can you arrange your days to give yourself this rhythm?

Pray together:

Father, we thank you for giving us each other! Help us love each other as you love us. Help us forgive as you have forgiven us. We ask for you to strengthen the churches and communities of each person here. Knit their hearts together in love and unity. We pray against the enemy’s schemes of disunity and chaos, of pride and selfish desires. We pray for your Spirit to be with each one, bringing love and forgiveness to all. In the name of Jesus we pray together. Amen.

♥ Samantha