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Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Power of Two

18-20"Take this most seriously: A yes on earth is yes in heaven; a no on earth is no in heaven. What you say to one another is eternal. I mean this. When two of you get together on anything at all on earth and make a prayer of it, my Father in heaven goes into action. And when two or three of you are together because of me, you can be sure that I'll be there."
(Matthew 18:18-20)

The portion of the passage that caught my eye this morning was the fact that God points out the power of "two".  We have heard the slogan over the airwaves of the "Power of One" - pointing out that dogged determination and the efforts of just one person can make a difference in society.  This is quite true and should not be discounted.  But...there is something even more powerful when two are standing together!

When two of you - there is a point when we can no longer stand alone.  At that point, we need to reach out to others.  In a society that values the strength and ability of an individual, this is seldom overlooked.  In recent years, we have seen education begin to teach the concept of "teamwork" by having students do "team projects" to obtain their grade rather than individual reports.  This is not taught so much for the benefit of developing the inter-relatedness of each other as much as the development of the "social skills" that allow people to work together for the good of the whole.  In God's economy, there is a benefit in being rightly related - first to him, then to others he places in our lives.  It is more than the social skills of teamwork - it is the strength of not standing alone.

Get together on anything at all on earth - the promise is pretty "all-inclusive".  Whenever two of us get together on anything at all on this earth, God is there.  The idea is that God never wants us to walk alone - he knows we need the strength of others - the physical hand, arms, and presence of another.  The strength of their hug, the warmth of their smile, or the intimate "knowing" of their silence all serve to give us the strength to endure the present battle.  God values when two stand in agreement - determined toward the same goals, living the same values, pursuing the same excellence.  In that union, he is glorified.  

And make a prayer of it - now we come to the crux of the matter.  It is in the prayerful expression of our united stand that God is present.  God gives us the one we stand alongside, not just for the hugs and moral support, but as a prayer partner.  One who will take the burden we bear and lift it to the throne room of God.  It is an honor to lift the needs of another to God - it is his joy to answer the prayer of one so committed to the other.  We stand as more than just "moral support" - being a sounding board or a place to "dump" our stress and worries.  We stand as "prayer support" for each other - a person who will do battle on behalf of the other.

My Father in heaven goes into action - that says it all!  God sees the two standing in agreement, lifting the needs of each other, and he goes into action!  What more can be said?  God in action is better than any solution two heads could come up with!  Yet, two hearts joined in prayer is the key that puts God's power into action.  

The next time you are tempted to stand alone - remember the "power of two". God's heart is "softened" and his power is placed into action by the prayer of those who stand united.