It was a season of great burden with no sign of relief: our family was in the thick of stress due to unexpected unemployment, and living where we did—in a rural area—made it even more difficult to find work. As the weeks turned to months, the financial, emotional, and spiritual strain felt unbearable at times.
Our friends called to offer us support. Some of them expressed concern. Others attempted to "fix" our situation, but ultimately realized how helpless they were to do so. Often by the end of our conversations, I felt an unshakable aloneness, even though I was trusting God as never before. What was missing?
One day, while driving alone, I blurted out, "I wish I had a prayer partner!" It was as if a light went on: that's exactly what I was missing—someone to pray with me regularly. Jesus promised, "Where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them" (Matthew 18:20). I needed his presence now as never before.
Still driving, I wondered which of my friends could be my prayer partner. Though caring, all of them were busy. And since I live in a rural area, it was unrealistic to think of getting together every day. But every day was what I needed!
Then a new option dawned on me: Why limit my choice to local friends? Why not ask one of my out-of-state friends? We already communicated regularly by e-mail; why not pray together online? I could share needs as they occurred, and my friend could pray at her convenience.1