Tuesday is pull-up day in the workout schedule my daughter and I follow. Without many preliminaries, my daughter and I head to the garage first thing in the morning, where she leads off, cranking out rep after rep without assistance during her first set.
I, on the other hand, am not nearly so advanced. I use an assistance band, a giant rubber band that I loop around the pull-up bar and step into before each set to help me get in a good number of repetitions (similar to the method demonstrated below).
Through the months, I’ve gotten stronger, graduating from a thick band to the thinnest one we have. It’ll be a bit scary when I remove the band at last and am forced rely upon my own strength alone.
But that won’t happen for a while yet. On my fourth and final set, I try to do as many pull-ups as possible, but my daughter sometimes needs to step in and hold my feet, boosting me up a final few inches until my chin clears the bar.
My daughter often needs my help on her final sets as well. When she has exhausted all her strength, she kicks her feet back, and that’s my signal to step underneath her so that she can push herself off my hands or forearms.
How thankful I am to have a workout partner that pushes me to do my best, and literally raises me up when I need it!
I was reminded of the assistance we Christians are called upon to give each other. On the one hand, we can (and should) get through our daily lives without bothering one another about every little difficulty that comes our way. After all, we have the Lord, the source of all power, living within us, and he is always available to meet our every need.
I will extol thee, O Lord; for thou hast lifted me up. – Psalm 30:1a
When I need it, I tend to ask for assistance and prayer only from family and close friends, but I hesitate to request prayer from other brothers and sisters in Christ. For one thing, I’m a private person; for another, I feel that my little trials are generally not that serious compared to those of others.
For example, a Filippino missionary my church supports often sends me personal messages asking for prayer for issues as minor as a head cold (which can actually be a major issue for an evangelist), or as major as food to feed the street children to whom he ministers.
He’s been in ministry for decades, and he obviously understands the power of praying friends and supporters. He shed his pride and privacy long ago in exchange for the prayers of as many people as possible.
And when Peter was come to himself, he said, Now I know of a surety, that the Lord hath sent his angel, and hath delivered me out of the hand of Herod, and from all the expectation of the people of the Jews. And when he had considered the thing, he came to the house of Mary the mother of John, whose surname was Mark; where many were gathered together praying. – Acts 12:11, 12
It’s a comforting reminder that I can and should request the prayers of others during a burdensome trial. The support of others’ prayers are a blessed part of belonging to the fellowship of Christians.
Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. – Galatians 6:2
How do you feel about sharing prayer requests? Have you seen the power of group prayer? I welcome your comments.