Although the Lord Jesus often withdrew to be alone with God in prayer, we notice that He also often desired the close companionship of those who were closest to Him. The Bible says,
“Now about eight days after these sayings He took with Him Peter and John and James and went up on the mountain to pray” (Luke 9:28).
“Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane and He said to His disciples, ‘Sit here, while I go yonder and pray.’ And taking with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, He began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then He said to them, ‘My Soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here and watch with me’ ” (Matthew 26:36-38).
I want to suggest that there are places in the climbing of the spiritual ladder in prayer where we need the companionship of another human being with us for victory. There are points beyond which we will not be able to go without another praying soul with us. I cannot explain the theory well, but I know it from deep experience. Permit me to share with you something that I experienced not too long ago. The Lord told me that all provincial headquarters, divisional headquarters, subdivisional headquarters, and all towns of consequence were to be interceded for, in a most serious way, in order to break down the advancing forces of the Enemy and provide, in prayer, the preliminary background of prayer for the move of God in national evangelization which was to come later on. He also made it clear that I would not be equal to the task alone. After prayer and some reflection, I invited two other believers with whom I had much liberty in prayer.
It was mighty wrestling as we divided our country into nine “spiritual provinces” and took each province in turn: writing down the names of all towns and villages of any consequence (from a recent map) and then wrestling through for four to six hours each night, five nights a week for five weeks. At some point the battle was so fierce that although we were three and occasionally four, we felt like fainting and breaking down. It was only the special anointing of the Lord and sustaining energy from each other that enabled us to press on until the task was accomplished. I could never have accomplished that task alone, at least not at this stage in my spiritual pilgrimage.
During this particular time of special intercession, when the battle was so fierce and the Enemy resisting the breakdown of his strongholds, we would use the authority of the Church to force him to obey. It was wonderful that I was not alone. We had been gathered, brought together by the Lord for a special purpose, and being three, He was both in us and in our midst. If I had been alone, He would have been in me and not in my midst. The Lord said,
“For where two of there are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them” (Matthew 18:20).
A prayer partner is someone with whom you have extraordinary liberty in prayer, love and respect, as well as trust. He must be someone before whom you can be thoroughly transparent, being able and willing to share your deepest thoughts, yearnings, and failures. He should be someone with a like passion for the Lord as you, a person committed to prayer, who will enhance your prayer life. He should also be available for frequent and much prayer.
The Lord Jesus said,
“Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven” (Matthew 18:19).
Prayer partners must aim at enhancing the spiritual life of the local church and not allow the Enemy to put them away and use them to scatter the local assembly. If their praying is normal, a substantial portion of their praying will be for the blessing of the local church.
The question may arise in some hearts, “Where can I find someone who can be my prayer partner? How can I find someone to whom I can completely open myself and not be let down?” The answer is simple: Ask and it shall be given to you. Seek and you shall find. However, the number one thing – deep fellowship, as must exist between prayer partners – is a work of the Holy Spirit, but He works in hearts that are willing. Are you willing? The best way to another person’s heart is by being open yourself to him. The extent to which you open yourself up to another and give yourself away, is the same extent to which that person, by the help of the Lord, will come along the same path of openness and, often, brokenness.