Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
– Ecclesiastes 4:9–12
One plus one does not just equal two with prayer.
It was clear to Shannon and me that agreement in prayer mattered in several ways. First of all, it sometimes took some chatting to determine how to pray. I suspect that more than once we prayed more ambitiously or precisely because we would assess one another’s needs with more objectivity and faith. We encouraged one another with our mutual belief that God cared more for the other person than that person may have believed at the moment. Second, our agreement that yes, this is what we are asking, times two, carried more spiritual power. There is power in agreement. Third, we did not give up so easily. When prayers seemed to go unanswered, we would remind one another to keep praying. It was difficult to remove a request from our unwritten “list” because we would not admit defeat to one another.
Lifting up one another becomes second nature.
I wonder if both Shannon and I were ever both spiritually "standing" at any given moment when we prayed together. I don’t think so! We reached the point where we picked each other up almost as if in a choreographed Broadway show. This is true with my prayer partners today, too. Our conversations are mostly informational. This happened. Please pray. This happened, praise God! This may happen. Please pray. This may happen. Praise God! Every hurt, trouble, threat or injury has the same response; “I will pray about it.”
There is no greater defender than your prayer partner.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken
and must be carefully woven.
In more recent year, usually a lot is at stake when we sit alongside one another on my friend’s broad and overstuffed sofa. Over time, I have memorized the fabric, wine tapestry with golden cords intertwined, so many moments have I bowed my head while seated under her picture window. Through sickness and failure, unemployment and lost direction, my friend has my back, and I have hers. How amazing is that, to have a friend so loyal that he or she will stop in their tracks to go before the throne on your behalf? And what an honor to have a friend who is so fully invested in your children’s well-being that they are indignant when the enemy has a go at your kids? My prayer partner has invested a lot into everything that concerns me. And I have invested similarly in her.
I've poured a tremendous amount of time, energy and love into several prayer partnerships throughout the years. Every moment, every ounce of effort, every tear has been received by each friend and has been added to and returned. We have been longsuffering and patient with one another at times, and at other times we have rejoiced and praised God together. If we make it through the first years of pushing through busy schedules, sick kids, work deadlines and non-coinciding vacations, and actually begin to pray together, regardless, miracles happen. The cord, woven with care and determination, is not quickly broken. I think that ears perk up in heaven when certain people pray together. May you be blessed with that friend spoken of in Proverbs 8:24. May God lead you to that “friend who sticks closer than a brother.”