"When we prayed together we were somehow a greater opening than we would have been praying alone. That we did it together made it all the more empowering: We became spiritual witness for each other's successes and growth. We didn't have to face our obstacles alone because we had a partner who would pray with us and for us, a partner in Spirit who held the 'High Watch'." --August Gold and Joel Fotinos, "Prayer Partners"
Throughout the ages, saints, sages and spiritual masters from every faith tradition have taught that with prayer comes the blessing of knowing we are not alone. Ultimately, prayer unifies us with our Higher Power, regardless of the name by which we know It. What I like about the aforementioned quote from "Prayer Partners" is that it points out yet another way in which we are not alone when we partner in our prayers with another person. The benefit in having a prayer partner lies in knowing that where two or more are gathered with an intention of sharing an awareness of Spirit's presence, there is also an increased level of "prayer power." Perhaps this point is made self evident in the subtitle of the book, How Praying with Someone Can Multiply Your Blessings.
I have two prayer partners with whom I have weekly met by phone for the better part of 20 years. Knowing that there is someone there who spiritually "has my back" in those moments when I am challenged by the vicissitudes of life is a blessing beyond measure. As Gold and Fotinos infer, a partner in Spirit is one who holds the "High Watch" in those times when we are perhaps unable to do so for ourselves because we are too close to, and enmeshed in, the problem at hand. It is important that we don't mistake the time spent with a prayer partner as a counseling, therapy or complaint session where we tell our "stories." The last thing we want is for the person praying with us to get caught up in the drama of our stories. The time we spend with a prayer partner is sacred in nature, where we can be open and transparent with ourselves and them.
Being open and transparent doesn't mean we should file a litany of complaints by focusing on what is wrong with our lives; it means we can safely share enough about what our needs and desires are to request affirmative prayer support from our prayer partner, allowing them to affirm in prayer what is right about us and Life. In other words, a prayer partner is someone who can know the spiritual truth about us in those times we may tend to go a bit unconscious, forgetting the truth about ourselves. What is that truth? Whether we know it or not, or remember it or not, the truth remains consistent: We are one with Infinite Presence irrespective of what may be going on in our lives. The remembrance is we are one with the source of all good, and having someone stand with us in those moments of uncertainty, affirming this truth about us and with us magnifies the power of that shared agreement.
Often our prayers have a request attached to them, and sometimes our prayers are simply our way of deepening our relationship with the Infinite, experiencing a sense of connection and oneness with something larger than ourselves. I think we can all find comfort in prayer. As we evolve in our relationship with Life, perhaps our intentions and the content of our prayers do as well. Prayer partnering can make the journey of spiritual deepening life transforming. Whether we are currently experiencing a challenge or we simply have a desire to continue knowing and affirming how blessed our lives are, shared agreement with another person creates a compelling energetic force that moves in mighty ways.
If you don't have a prayer partner, I encourage you to open yourself to the value and power a prayer partnership can bring to your life. If you need some assistance, in their book Gold and Fotinos do a remarkable job of guiding us through the process of developing a prayer partnership and making it a mainstay in our lives. It also includes a marvelous and detailed 90-Day Prayer Partner process that makes it easy to stay on purpose with your prayer partner. Who can be your prayer partner? It might be a family member, your significant other, a neighbor, a friend from your spiritual community or even someone you connect with on Facebook who shares similar core values and spiritual beliefs as you. The key is to be willing to ask. Someone has to initiate the process, so why not you? Why not now?
It is an empowering thing to know you are never alone. This is the literal truth and having a prayer partner makes the experience even more palpable and powerful.
Where two or more are gathered ... indeed.