Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend. ~ Proverbs 27: 17
One benefit of praying with others is this: when we work together in the spirit, gifts that have been hidden within us are revealed and activated. The anointing on us connects with the anointing on someone else and enables us both to step into spiritual positions we could never occupy alone.
A great illustration of that principle is the Old Testament story about Saul. When he was first anointed to be king of Israel by the prophet Samuel, Saul was timid and didn’t appear to be king material. Do you know how God changed him? He changed him by bringing him into contact with anointed people. God used gifts in others to awaken the anointing on Saul and those gifts turned him into another man. To make sure he didn’t miss those connections, Samuel told Saul about them in advance. He let Saul know they would be strategic in his life.
He said: When thou art departed from me to day, then thou shalt find two men by Rachel’s sepulchre in the border of Benjamin at Zelzah; and they will say unto thee, The asses which thou wentest to seek are found: and, lo, thy father hath left the care of the asses, and sorroweth for you, saying, What shall I do for my son? Then shalt thou go on forward from thence, and thou shalt come to the plain of Tabor, and there shall meet thee three men going up to God to Beth–el, one carrying three kids, and another carrying three loaves of bread, and another carrying a bottle of wine: And they will salute thee, and give thee two loaves of bread; which thou shalt receive of their hands. After that thou shalt come to the hill of God, where is the garrison of the Philistines: and it shall come to pass, when thou art come thither to the city, that thou shalt meet a company of prophets coming down from the high place with a psaltery, and a tabret, and a pipe, and a harp, before them; and they shall prophesy: And the Spirit of the Lord will come upon thee, and thou shalt prophesy with them, and shalt be turned into another man. And let it be, when these signs are come unto thee, that thou do as occasion serve thee; for God is with thee ~ 1 Samuel 10:2-7
Usually we think of “signs” as miracles and wonders that come from heaven. But in Saul’s case, the signs that changed his life were people. They were believers who imparted to him certain spiritual things he needed to step into the office of king. That goes to show you how important spiritual connections and relationships are. They change us. They activate spiritual gifts within us. They prepare us for our future. They inspire us to rise to new heights in God. We can walk around for years with supernatural anointing and gifting lying dormant within us like seeds in the ground. But when God sends somebody across our path who is anointed to cultivate them, those seeds in us will begin to sprout. The more we’re with that person, the bigger those seedlings grow.
In my life, I have had a few individuals with that kind of cultivating effect. These carried an anointing to awaken me to the call of God and to help activate my spiritual hunger and gifting in a supernatural way. All of us need the power of these divine connections and God has set in place churches with pastors, teachers, apostles, prophets, and evangelists to meet those needs for you and for me.
And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: ~ Ephesians 4:11-13
Truly as iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend!