I spent ten years in the military. Before that, my husband spent six years in the military. Throughout our lives, we met people from all walks of life, with diverse experiences, challenges, and triumphs. We found an undeniable need for community.

At most chapels in the military, there are groups of women meeting to study the Bible. These are the spaces where women can find solace, encouragement, and shared strength because we had a shared experience in military life. There was a shared understanding of personal sacrifice and struggle. I learned to be more vulnerable because these were my people! They had husbands who were deployed, they were seasoned military wives, and I didn't have to explain why I was feeling the way I was feeling because they'd been there before.

Let's explore the importance of shared experience as we look at how supporting each other through prayer builds community.

The Power of Communal Prayer
Acts 2:42 says, "They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer." I love that this picture portrays the First Century church community devoting themselves to prayer and fellowship, laying the foundation for a bond strengthened by communal supplication.

There was a ministry in Italy called the Hospitality House and there were missionaries who were stewards of a home in Vicenza, and their ministry was to cater to the service members and families there. They opened the home to weekly Bible studies and served lunch on the weekends.

The women I met there prayed for me in a way I never saw before. They prayed with me, they prayed intimately, and they thought of me when I wasn't sitting across from them at Bible study.

Shared Burdens, Shared Blessings
Galatians 6:2 reminds us to "Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ." Have you found a community where you can bring your burdens to the table without judgement and fear?

When we pray for each other and intercede on behalf of others, we align ourselves with God's heart for humanity – cultivating unity and compassion. And, ultimately, this act of sharing in each other's burdens is living out what Jesus called us to do when He told us to love our neighbors.

Fostering Encouragement and Unity
The impact of communal prayer forms a robust support system, fostering encouragement and unity. Hebrews 10:24-25 encourages us to "consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together." Through prayer, we uplift, inspire, and spur each other on in our spiritual journeys.

One summer, during Vacation Bible School, I met a group of moms in all different seasons of motherhood. One of the moms invited us to her house for pancakes and prayer. She got a babysitter to watch the kids and we were able to go upstairs and pray for each other. When I got there... there were SO many kids. The babysitter was very much outnumbered. I started to become anxious. I didn't want to inconvenience her. There were pancakes, bacon, quiche, teacups, juice cups all over the kitchen. I felt so bad because my five kids would add to this mess.

But she said something amazing – really, don't worry about it.

I love her for opening up her home and inviting in our mess. She told us she didn't want us to think about the kids being watched, or fed, or the mess that ensued... she just wanted us to focus on time to commune with each other and with God.

It was such an example of hospitality for me.

It showed me how, together, in community, we can affirm the truth of Ecclesiastes 4:9-10, "Two are better than one because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow." And, let me tell you... moms out there... we need to be lifted up!

Prayer is what binds us together here on earth. Pray is how we participate with the divine. Prayer is how we love each other and love and trust God.

So, as we stop here. Tell me... what can I partner in prayer with you about? I would love to pray with you, dear ezer.

"The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his face upon you and give you peace." (Numbers 6:24-26)