When I was a new kid in town, to get to school, I had to walk past Billy Parsell’s house. Billy was bigger and stronger than me. Whenever I passed by, he would knock me down, hit me, and otherwise make my life miserable.
My dad had another plan. “Don’t walk alone to school anymore. Go with your brother,” my dad advised. “The next time he comes at you, both of you pile on him and give him a good licking.” I wonder if Dad got that idea from Solomon who wrote: An attacker may defeat someone who is alone, but two can resist him. (Ecclesiastes 4:12).
It didn’t take long. One day, on my way home from school, Billy came at me with violence in his eyes. But I had my brother at my side. The two of us fought back. In no time we had him on the ground crying. What’s really crazy about this story is that a few months later, Billy, who hadn’t learned his lesson, tried it again. This time our pal Jimmy joined the fray. As Solomon concluded: a three-stranded cord is not easily broken. I seem to remember a bloody nose. We never heard of Billy bullying anyone after that.
God was really smart when he decided to give Eve to Adam as a helpmate. I don’t know what I would do without my Charlene.
And remember old Noah led those animals into the Ark two by two? Thank God Joshua had Caleb and John partnered with Peter. What would Paul have done if he had been beaten and put in an Ephesian jail all by his lonesome? But he had Silas. I’m not sure that story would have had the happy ending it had, if the two of them hadn’t been there for each other, encouraged each other to sing praises to God rather than get depressed.
Then there was Jesus, who, like his father, was really smart. He never sent his disciples out alone, but always in pairs. I seem to remember reading about a husband-wife team, a dynamic duo named Priscilla and Aquila. They not only got Apollos fired up in the ministry but were great assets to Paul’s work for the Lord.
The power of two or more is nowhere more effective than in prayer. You go into your prayer closet alone and God will surely be there with you. But if you want His special presence and power, find another one or two and unite together with them in prayer.
Both times I planted congregations, I joined in prayer with another for months beforehand. God did the rest. I feel sorry for pastors who try to do the work of ministry by themselves. It’s a lonely and sometimes dangerous business. We all know of pastors whom the devil has picked off, often because they tried to go it alone.
So, if you want to do great things for God, put aside that rugged individualism. Find at least one other person of like mind and go do it with them.
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