I have been challenged in my commitment to prayer lately. Some major things have happened with friends and family, and it has challenged my will and desire in how I pray for people. It’s helped me to focus and understand that when we are truly standing in the gap for someone, our prayer needs to be so much more than just a one-time, “Bless them, Lord.”
I pray for a lot of people, and when someone shares a prayer request, I try to pray specifically for their request. If possible, I try to follow up as well, to be able to keep praying, as God lays the request on my heart, or to find out about answered prayer.
But what about those for whom we commit to praying for with more regularity? What about our family and friends for whom we want to pray with diligence, and for whom we want to be standing in the gap?
What is Standing in the Gap?
To me, “standing in the gap” implies more than just “praying for someone”. It seems to imply more of a “praying through with someone” until the situation is resolved. You see your friend or family member and what their need is, you know it will take some time and a significant amount of prayer, and you willingly step into the “gap” – the space between what currently is and what could be – to commit to pray. But you don’t just step in to pray one time. You step in, with the intention of camping out and praying, continually, and to offer support until the request is answered.
Why Stand in the Gap?
So, standing in the gap is not an easy job. It takes time, effort and commitment. Why would someone want to stand in the gap? Standing in the gap shows our commitment to those with whom we choose to do life. Maybe it’s our family or close friends. For us, it would include our small group. But by walking through life together, we are choosing to be strong when another is weak. We are also choosing to rely on another’s kindness and support when we are struggling in our lives.
What Does it Look Like to Stand in the Gap?
Have you ever had a sick child, or spouse, or maybe you have been the one who has suffered with a physical ailment? Sometimes the things that help the most are the ones over which we have no control – friends dropping off dinner, family picking up our children so they can get out of the house, a pastor calling or stopping by to pray. These are all examples of standing in the gap for someone. Physically, it means to provide for a need for someone.
Spiritually, though, it means so much more. When we spiritually stand in the gap, we step into our friends’ lives, committed to agreeing with them in prayer until God reveals His answer. We aren’t just praying once and then walking away from our friends’ needs. We commit to pray until the answer comes – whether it’s one day, one week, one month, or several years. Sometimes God’s answer doesn’t come immediately, and so we are showing our friends or family that we don’t intend to leave them while they are experiencing a need.
“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” – Galatians 6:2
Blessings of Standing in the Gap
You might wonder what benefit there is to supporting someone to such an extent. God doesn’t call us to walk through life alone. From before we are born, He creates us to need people. We need our mother for our growth before birth; we need our family for our growth and development; we need our friends, neighbors, siblings, and schoolmates for our social-emotional growth, and we need our family and our church for spiritual growth. We’re created to need companionship.
As you stand in the gap for a friend in need, you will, no doubt, take on some of the hurt and pain of their situation. But as God answers, as He works in mighty ways in and around the situation, you are going to receive some of the blessing for committing yourself to praying for that situation. God works when we pray! And your relationship with your friend or family will be strengthened as you walk through the struggles together. In the end, you will all be able to look back, together, and marvel at what God has done!
MYB Stands in the Gap
I would be remiss if I did not mention our prayer ministry here at Managing Your Blessings. At the top of the page, there is a tab that says “Need Prayer?” If, at any time, you have a prayer request, would you let us know? We have a team that takes your request and prays over your need, and what a privilege it is to pray for you! Please know, in the world of motherhood, womanhood, and managing the blessings that God has given to you, we are here to support you. We are here to stand in the gap for you!
Blessings, dear friends!
Rebekah at Journeying Outside My Box