We know food is people glue. I’ve been hearing this, saying it, and practicing it for over 30 years. When we share food it can invite and deepen relationship. But even more than food, prayer is people glue.
When we regularly pray with people we develop deep bonds of relationship. It doesn’t even matter what is prayed for, the simple act of agreeing together in prayer is powerful.
In Matthew 18:19 Jesus says, 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. Here Jesus shines a light on the deep mystery of relationships.
We get to know a person very quickly when we regularly pray with them.
I don’t mean a quick 5 minute prayer. No. This can be as unmeaningful as a high five on the way past someone in a church lobby.
When we regularly pray together for 30 minutes, an hour, 2 hours… a sincerity is built, a deep heart connection through the power of agreement in prayer is built. This develops a spiritual intimacy, a trust level that is deeper than other relationships. Any usual barriers to relationship, real or perceived, are quickly dissolved–offense, insecurity, unforgiveness, language, culture, ethnicity, agendas apart from God’s will–all are all dissolved.
Because sincere prayer requires honesty before God and when a person is honest before God, they are honest before people. This is something that is felt, it is spiritually perceived and known.
Insincere, dishonest prayers are also felt–spiritually perceived.
We cannot regularly pray with people without one of two things happening:
- We get honest and go deeper in prayer and deeper in the relationship. We will love more deeply and be willing to trust more openly and be vulnerable. This is where we learn that prayer is people glue and that it builds intimacy among believers like nothing else can. Or,
- We give up and end the regularity of prayer because prayer is too much work. Honesty is too much work. We are afraid of the vulnerability and afraid of the emotional engagement love requires of us. So relationships remain at a very surface level.
Right before Jesus went to the Cross, He prayed, “I pray for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be ONE, Father, just as YOU ARE IN ME and I AM IN YOU. May they also BE IN US so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that THEY MAY BE ONE AS WE ARE ONE— I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete UNITY. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” John 17:20-23
The kind of intimacy Jesus has with the Father ONENESS He is praying we would have with each other.
Prayer does this.
Then the world will know that you sent me…
Related post: There is no intimacy without honesty