I’ve never been good at prayer, even praying for others.
Sure, I talk to God a lot; hardly a day passes when I don’t at least think about him.
But the on-my-knees fervent prayer? I can’t remember the last time when I felt moved to pray my heart out of my chest for myself or anyone else.
That makes asking for prayer from others all the more difficult. Part of me feels too unworthy to presume God will listen let alone care what this measly person wants or needs.
Certainly God has better things to do.
It’s made all the less likely I will ask when my needs are so small and even petty compared to others.
There are two things wrong with this attitude:
1. Of course I’m unworthy! Not a single person is worthy of God’s attention, let alone his grace. Yet he showers us with it anyway for no other reason than because He loves us. To turn down the opportunity for him to give us what we need, and sometimes what we want, insults him.
2. God does not compare me or my needs to others, therefore my needs are equally important to him as everyone else’s needs.
I compared prayer once years ago to a warehouse. By not asking God or asking others to pray for me, I’m going on the assumption that answers to prayer are finite and they should be “saved up” for the really big requests. I don’t want to empty that warehouse with my little stuff when they could be used for greater needs.
But the Bible says that prayer perpetuates itself. The more we pray, especially with others, the more God turns his ear.
Plus the Bible says, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. (Phillipians 4:6)
One of my favorite people in the New Testament is Paul. He was always honest, especially with regard to his own weaknesses. Nor did he hold back in asking for prayer from others. He knew he needed it in order to complete God’s work.
So by not praying or asking for prayer — even for the little things — can I really complete the tasks God gives me?
The best reason of all to pray and to ask for it is the continual growth of my relationship with Jesus.
That said, I ask for your prayers this evening. When I was sixteen and gave my heart to Jesus, I also gave him my hands. I was writing a lot at that time, and quite by accident discovered it was my best way of praising and worshipping him. I wanted that to continue, so I gave him my hands to do with as he pleased.
In the last six months, my right hand has broken out with a semi-severe case of eczema. I can type okay, but writing with a pen or pencil is at times uncomfortable, other times near impossible.
I want my hand back.
I also want God to show me how I can worship and praise him better — with or without my hands. After all, they belong to God, not me. If the eczema must stay, I pray for the strength and will write through the pain.