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Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up the other; but woe to one who is alone and falls and does not have another to help. Again, if two lie together, they keep warm; but how can one keep warm alone? And though one might prevail against another, two will withstand one. A threefold cord is not quickly broken. Ecclesiastes 4: 9-12 (NRSV)

Bear one another's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2 (NRSV)

Andrea Doering lives in New York. She loves listening to their church choir as their voices lead us in praise from the chancel. For Andrea, they are also a visible reminder of what praying as a community can do.

Years ago, Andrea's husband sang in the choir. He stood beside an older man who was unsteady on his feet and whose legs sometimes gave out. On the other side of this man stood a young man, a good friend of theirs. As the choir stood to sing, Andrea's husband and their friend were like bookends for the man between them, ready to catch him if his legs gace way. Every time they rose to sing, Andrea watched the three men orchestrate their rise and descent.

To this day, Andrea sees the image of them in her mind as she offers prayers for her family, friends, neighbors, and country. She thanks God for the people who buttress her with their prayers, helping and sustaining her when she falters. This is a great comfort we are able to offer each other.

Prayer: Loving God, thank you for our companions. Make us aware of those around us who need to be supported by both prayers and acts of compassion, in Jesus' name. Amen.

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