“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:11
Recently I’ve been reading a book called “Body Life” by Pastor Ray Stedman. It talks about koinonia – the Christian fellowship enjoyed by believers especially as they utilize the gifts God has given them. It got me thinking about an example of koinonia fellowship I’ve been benefitting from in my life lately.
In our increasingly technology-based world, personal relationships can suffer. We tend to become more isolated when we’re hurting and maybe retreat inside ourselves, not wanting to share. At least that’s what I’ve seen can happen in my own life.
I’m privileged to be a part of a group of women who meet once a month to encourage and support one another through fellowship, love and prayers. We are all involved in ministry of one kind or another which can be draining (as well as encouraging)! What’s so wonderful about this group is that we can share how we’re REALLY feeling without fear of judgment. Beyond our monthly meetings we have begun a text group which has become invaluable to every one of us.
For instance, one Sunday afternoon our family came home from church to find a flood under the addition to our home. After praying with my husband to find the leak, I reached out to my group of friends in a text asking them to pray as well. Not long after God answered those prayers and we found the leak; saving us hundreds if not thousands of dollars!
Other requests from the group have included prayers for a struggling marriage, favor for a new job, wisdom and strength for difficult work situations, how to best help their kids – whatever the person may be struggling with at the time. I love that as soon as we send out the request we can instantly know that our sisters are joining in prayer on our behalf right at that very moment. We can feel the love being sent our way.
We are also quick to share praises – thanking God for answered prayer and reminding each other that He is good no matter what our circumstances may look like. I was amazed to receive a text from one of my friends at just the right time; I was going through a difficult situation and wasn’t sure what to do next. In the text she assured me that God saw me, heard me and loved me even though I hadn’t sent out a prayer request to anyone! She’d had a dream the night before and felt compelled to reach out and encourage me.
This kind of community has been so inspiring to me. It reminds me that as believers in Christ we are all united by the same Spirit. How truly reassuring and comforting to know that the Lord has provided for us in this way; through the koinonia fellowship of believers.
*Sacred Story is honored to have Amy Allen as a guest contributor this month. Amy is a wife, Mom of two sweet girls, author, graphic designer, speaker, and founder of the REAL Conference. Amy openly wrote her sacred story Once Upon A Time of a redeemed marriage after infidelity, prostitutes, and alcoholism tore it apart. She is passionate about sharing the hope she has found in Jesus and the truth of God’s Word.