I hate open heights! I can’t stand balconies, glass elevators freak me out, and when I am driving across a bridge, you’ll find me hugging the dividing rail along the inside lane.
Some friends tried to help me conquer these fears by inviting our family to join them one Sunday afternoon at Inner Peaks Climbing Center. I cringed at the thought of it, but JJ and our boys really wanted to go. So I caved in and agreed to a family “outing” inside this huge rock-climbing center.
When we entered the doors, my heart stopped beating as I look up at the highest peak – 25 feet! The instructors assured me that a web of ropes, harnesses and carabiners would hold me tight. Before I could say “no thank you,” I was strapped in and signing an injury waiver. I played it safe and stayed on the lower peaks.
Towards the end of the day, our friends John and Laura challenged their eight-year-old son Steven to climb to the highest peak – promising $5 in tokens and a cone of ice cream at arcade next door if he would touch the bar at the top.
Steven was afraid of heights, too, but he loved a dare. The promise of reward, mixed with the challenge and faith of his father evoked courage in Steven.
I watched with admiration as that little guy started the climb with confidence. He made it to 15 feet, then 20. But as he inched past the next face of the wall, he saw just how far he had to go before reaching the bar at the top. In fear, he looked down with tears and said he couldn’t do it. Then he cried out for his daddy’s help.
By this time, John was holding their very tired 3 yr old, and Laura was feeding their very hungry baby girl. I don’t know where my brave husband was, but as I looked around I realized I was the only one standing there who could do something.
Suddenly courage and strength surged through my body. I called out to Steven, “Don’t give up buddy. Wait for me to come to you. You can do it. I’ll help you!”
I said a quick prayer that God would help me and that Steven wouldn’t give up and start repelling his way down before I got to him. In no time, I reached the 20 foot marker. I crossed over the peak and up beside Steven to encourage him, reminding him of how far he’d come. Using my words and my confidence I focused his thoughts towards a higher goal, an inner peak, a reward that would be much greater than ice cream and game tokens – the reward of getting to a placehe had stopped believing he could reach.
My fear was gone. I had stopped thinking about me long enough to focus on helping someone else reach their goal and overcome their fear. Strangely enough, in that moment I overcame mine, and reached a peak of my own.
I became the response of a child’s cry for his father’s help. And that day became a picture of what happens when friends pray for and encourage one another. Like Jesus, we come alongside each other in some of life’s hardest challenges and highest peaks and we say, “Don’t give up, you can do it. Wait for me. I’ll help you.”
In that moment we take our eyes off our fears, our doubts, our struggles and set them on someone else’s needs. There we find faith to believe the power of God’s Word for them, and somehow our confidence in God’s promises and power are true for us in a way they may never have been before. That is the power of a praying friend!
Today, I invite you to join me in a conversation with God and some girlfriends so that we can experience what happens when women pray – for each other. This is your chance to share a request (a need, a hope, a desire) that you want someone to pray for you for this week. In return, you will pray for one person for the next week, too.
And because I love to share with friends books that draw me closer to Jesus, those who participate in our “conversation with God” will be part of a drawing next week for a new book called “Dear Jesus.” It is filled with devotions and scriptures that capture the heart of God’s response to every woman’s longings and intimate struggles.
Here’s how we’ll do this:
Click the word “Comments” below my name on this post (just under the 2nd green box).
Type in your prayer request in the white box.
Include your first name and where you are from.
(If you don’t have a blogger account, you can sign in as anonymous. But please include your first name at the end.) After type your request, click enter. Your comment will post.
Read the prayer request/comment above yours and pray for that friend.
Copy and paste it in an email to yourself as a reminder to pray for your new friend throughout the week.
On Monday, I’ll post about the power of praying God’s Word and share some of my favorite scripture prayers. Wouldn’t it be neat to find a Bible verse to pray for our prayer partner and post it in Monday’s comments? I’ll share how to do that.
There were two people in blessed in my story. But I never would have experienced what God had for me to give or receive that day if Steven hadn’t asked for help. I pray you will experience the power of a praying friend by promising to be one and allowing someone else to be one for you today. Be sure to click “comments” just below this box so that others see your prayer request and you find the request you are to pray for, too.
© 2008 by Renee Swope. All rights reserved.