Encouragement for Today - Sept. 15, 2009

Published: Sep 15, 2009


September 15, 2009

The Empty Chair

 Shari Braendel


 "For this reason, since the day we heard about you,

we have not stopped praying for you." Colossians 1:9a (NIV)



What is one thing I would not live without? 


The answer is a team of prayer warriors. 


I surround myself with specific groups of women who pray for me and me for them.  I have a Moms in Touch group at my son's school, an "around the world team" made up of friends in different states, local girlfriends, and P31 sisters.


For years these women have been praying for me.  I have shared my dreams with them, and we have prayed together over God's calling and plans for me.  The power of prayer is amazing, and we've seen God work in unbelievable ways.  Let me share one instance that was undeniably prayer in action. 


About two weeks ago, I was running out the door to my weekly prayer group at school.  Just before I left, my husband reminded me to send an overdue e-mail.  Telling him I'd do it later, he chimed, "There's no time like the present." So I quickly turned on my laptop and as I did, a new email came in.


Have you ever waited on an answer to come through email?  It could be about a job, a test result, or maybe a response from a friend or family member.  Regardless, you know when the answer comes it will impact your life. I was waiting on news about a ministry endeavor.


What I found in that hurried moment was an email telling me there would be a meeting at 10:00 that morning to determine the outcome of the matter.  I was asked to pray that they would seek the Holy Spirit together as decisions affecting the ministry I serve in were made.


Quickly I forwarded the e-mail to my "around the world team" and headed out the door, with emotions running high.  I cried all the way to the school prayer group, where I told them about the 10 o'clock meeting as well.  The girls gathered around me and prayed. 


When I got home, I read the prayers that had come in from my "around the world team." Bev had prayed there would be an empty chair in the room in which Jesus would be sitting, leading the conversation at the meeting. 


Later that afternoon I received a call.  The ministry opportunity was going forward!  I had prayed about this for two years and approached it many different times. Praise God, things had moved forward in ways I never could have dreamed or imagined!


Recently, I met with one of the women who sat in the 10:00 meeting.  She told me the meeting had gone so well it was as if Jesus Himself was right there in the room!  I asked her what I'd wondered: "By any chance, was there an empty chair at the table?"


"Yes, as a matter of fact there was.  We sat around the table with four chairs and there were only three of us."  I imagined Jesus in that fourth spot.


Oh girls, the power of prayer! Believe that God will perform a miracle for you! Never, ever underestimate the power of friends praying.  Find some girlfriends today and commit to praying for each other.


Dear Lord, thank You for hearing our prayers.  Thank You for bringing into our lives other women who lift us up in prayer. You know the plans You have for us, dear Father, and we lift our prayers to You, waiting for Your direction and timing.  In Jesus' Name, Amen.


Related Resources:

Do You Know Him?


Gather and Grow groups are the perfect place to pray with girlfriends!


Divine Prayers for Despairing Parents: Words to Pray When You Don't Know What to Say by Susanne Scheppmann


Visit Shari's blog


Application Steps: 

Pray and ask God who you should invite to be on your team of prayer warriors.


Join a Moms in Touch prayer group at your child's school or start one by going to www.momsintouch.org.


Join the Proverbs 31 Ministries' Prayer Team.



Do you need a miracle for your marriage, child, job or health?  Pray without ceasing.


Do you have a calling that you need to take to your prayer warriors and spend some time praying over?


Power Verses:

1 Thessalonians 5:17, "Pray without ceasing." (NASB)


James 5:16b, "The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective." (NIV)



© 2009 by Shari Braendel. All rights reserved.


Proverbs 31 Ministries

616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road

Matthews, NC 28105



Originally published Tuesday, 15 September 2009.