I am most aware of the brokenness of the world, and our need for God’s kingdom, when praying with others. When I first became intentional about this—asking people how I can pray for them—I assumed that this would be depressing. I presumed that when people shared their worries or concerns that I, too, would take these on, and that over time these burdens would become overwhelming.
Yet I find instead that there these moments of sharing are not something to be dreaded. When I spend time talking with and listening to someone in the hospital or my office, there is a sense of God present in a unique way.
As we pray, I say the longings I have heard. They become my longings: for healing, for hurting family members, for comfort in the fears. And even though I enter the fears and longings, in the moment there is so much more than the pain. There is a sense that in these prayers we are joined in Christ, and Christ is present in a unique way. Somehow, in the moment of our sharing and praying together, God’s kingdom breaks through.