By Pastor Vinnie Cappetta
"Prayer: A Purifying Bath"
“Vinnie, how can I pray for you?” That’s an email I received years ago from a man who had just started attending our church. I did not receive messages like that very often, so I was taken back by it. I was more taken back when I received that same email along with a special written prayer over and over again for weeks and then months. I was even more taken back when the man moved away to a foreign country and he still kept up praying for and with me. When the man’s computer stopped working, I started missing those simple emails and prayers. It was like a part of my week was missing.
My friend knows something of the necessity of prayer that Dietrich Bonhoeffer highlights here:
All Christians have their own circle of people who have requested them to pray on their behalf, or people for whom for various reasons they know they have been called upon to pray. First of all, the circle will include those with whom they must live every day. With this we have advanced to the point at which we hear the heartbeat of all Christian life together. A Christian community either lives by prayer of its members for one another or the community will be destroyed. I can no longer condemn or hate other Christians for whom I pray, no matter how much trouble they caused me. In intercessory prayer the face that may have been strange and intolerable to me is transformed into the face of one for whom Christ died, the face of a pardoned sinner. That is the blessed discovery for the Christian who is beginning to offer intercessory prayer for others. As far as we are concerned, there is no dislike, no personal tension, no disunity or strife, that cannot be overcome by intercessory prayer. Intercessory prayer is the purifying bath into which the individual and the community must enter every day. Life Together, page 90
Friends, let us enter into prayer for one another as often as we shower and bathe. Let us pray overcoming prayers for each other. The thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy, but Jesus has come to give us life to the full and we enter into that life through prayer for one another.