We hear in the Epistle Reading today about the affliction/trouble that St Paul went through in Asia.
“What this trouble is for Paul is not clear – perhaps a physical malady or persecution. But whatever its nature, it makes him more aware of death and of his dependence on God (v.9) – and more appreciative of the fellowship of other Christians and of the power of the Church’s corporate prayer (v.11) Orthodox Study Bible pg. 1574
There is much that can be said about the value that comes from difficult times and situations. Maybe the pressure that we endured during a hurdle in our life (see previous reflection called “Under Pressure” here https://conta.cc/3gUoy9P ) can help us to understand the trials of others which then can allow us to be there for others.
St. John Chrysostom: “ ‘He delivered us from those deaths,’ says he, ‘ye also helping together by entreaty’; that is he says, ‘All of you praying on our behalf.’ For the gracious gift bestowed upon us, that is, our deliverance, He was willing to grant to you all, in order that many persons might give Him thanks, since also many received the gracious gift.” The Orthodox New Testament pg. 219
You see, we can do things for others, praying for others is SO IMPORTANT in the life of the Church.
I can tell you this, without exaggeration, that when either visiting or calling a parish family member who is going through a difficult time (and I express to them that others are praying for them), do you know what the responses usually are? “I can feel their prayers”, “Tell them to keep praying” “Thank you”.
We can be there for others in many ways, one of the most important is spiritually!
Do I pray for others in my daily prayers?
Do I have a Church directory? Do I open it up and simply prayer for the members of my parish family?