Sharing the burdens

There is great comfort in sharing our problems and sorrows with other followers of Jesus.

Yet, many of us brood over our issues and cut ourselves off from others.  Many people who are depressed turn inwards and wall themselves off from people who care for them.

Pete Greig, founder of 24-7 Prayer International, suggests in a video course on prayer that sharing prayer needs with others is an important step to seeing God work in our lives.

I agree.  My wife and I have turned to friends at crucial times in our lives, asking them to pray with us and for us.

At the very least, we feel loved and cared for.  In itself, that can carry us through hard times.

But Jesus offered more in these words in Matthew 18: “If two of you agree here on earth concerning anything you ask, my Father in heave will do it for you.”

Of course, this raises questions about what kind of prayer God will say “Yes” to.  Elsewhere, Jesus makes clear that these prayers must be in line with his character and his will.

When praying for his needs, Greig searches the scriptures for God’s promises and then confidently prays these promises back to the Lord.  Sometimes the answers come back in unexpected ways.

As someone else said, trouble brings us to God.  Some wind up shaking their fists at the Father; others gain a new understanding of themselves and their Lord.

There is one great lesson no one should miss: Jesus is always there to help us carry our burdens – even if we won’t talk with anyone else.

Christ uttered these words of hope 2000 years ago:

“Come to me all you that are weary and carry heavy burdens and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you.  Let me teach you because I am humble and gentle at heart and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

This tells me that Jesus is offering to help carry my burden.  And as he is sharing my burden, he is teaching me more about himself.

That is an offer I cannot refuse.

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