Do you connect with other Christians? Steph explains how we can foster connectedness with other believers, and why it’s important to do so.
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A Woman Of Great Faith
Okay, maybe these examples are a little specific, but you get the idea.
When the pastor and I met for prayer recently, it was an amazing time of fellowship. In my devotional time, I’ve been studying scripture passages on prayer. When the pastor shared some thoughts on a passage of scripture he’d read that morning, I perked up and paid especially close attention.
You see, he read Matthew 15:21-24, which is an amazing example of what prayer should look like. “And Jesus went away from there and withdrew to the district of Tyre and Sidon. And behold, a Canaanite woman from that region came out and was crying, ‘Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David; my daughter is severely oppressed by a demon.’ But he did not answer her a word. And his disciples came and begged him, saying, ‘Send her away, for she is crying out after us.’ He answered, ‘I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.’ But she came and knelt before him, saying, ‘Lord, help me.’ And he answered, ‘It is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.’ She said, ‘Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.’ Then Jesus answered her, ‘O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire.’ And her daughter was healed instantly” (ESV).
What Should This Passage Mean For Our Prayer Life?
- Even when the Lord seems to be ignoring us, we must continue to pray.
- When others oppose us, we must continue to pray.
- When we don’t receive the answer we desire, we must continue to pray.
- When the response seems to be unreasonably harsh, we must continue to pray.
- And when everything within us is tempted to give up, we must still continue to pray.
This woman exhibited great faith. She addressed Jesus as few, if any, had, even those who would be expected to have more spiritual education and insight.
This desperate mother would not let pride stand in her way. She humbled herself before the Lord and He lifted her up—eventually. (See James 4:10.)
These are remarkable truths and discussing them with Pastor Tim was a real joy—and a challenge to me personally.
Over the last number of weeks, when we have met for prayer, he has prayed for my grown children. On this particular occasion, he did so by name. This warmed my heart and brought me joy—as do the facts that my husband and I got an invitation in the mail to a relatively new friend’s baptism and that our pastoral intern asked me to have a look at his paper—not as an editor or a proofreader, but as a fellow believer whose opinion he values.
Fellowship takes many forms, but I believe a key component is connectedness. Heavenly treasure is all about connectedness. Most importantly, we must be connected to God through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. When we become His children, we become members of His family, His body (as it says in Romans 12:5). We are connected in a way we can’t quite grasp this side of heaven to fellow believers.
How Can We Foster Connectedness With Other Believers?
- Spend time reading God’s Word and praying with other Christians.
- Listen intently.
- Speak words that will encourage and build up the listener.
- Take time to develop authentic friendships.
- Be willing to do a favour for a friend. (You may very well be blessed in unexpected ways when you do so. Thomas’s paper gave me lots to think and pray about.)
- Be willing to set aside your daily routine, at least temporarily, when God gives you the opportunity to truly fellowship with another believer.
- Focus on what’s truly important. (Although we briefly discuss the business of the church when the staff meet, for months our focus has been God’s Word and prayer. The day-to-day matters will get tended to, but the foundation must be solid.)
Are you connecting with the Lord and with your brothers and sisters in Christ? Are you doing your part to foster God-honouring fellowship?
Let’s do so today—and in the days to come.
Steph Beth Nickel is a freelance writer and editor. She is the coauthor of Paralympian Deb Willows’ award-winning memoir, Living Beyond My Circumstances, published by Castle Quay Books.
Steph is a member of InScribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship and The Word Guild. She and her husband of over 30 years live in Southwestern Ontario, Canada.
Steph’s goal is to nurture and inspire. She blogs at Steph Nickel’s Eclectic Interests. She also guest posts regularly on the topics of Christian living, writing, and fitness. You can visit her website, stephbethnickel.com, to learn more about her.
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Images Courtesy Of:
Holding Hands- Godsgirl_Madi
Holy Book- StockSnap