Worthless for Prayer

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.

2 thoughts on “Worthless for Prayer

  1. Andra.. warning, this may be a mini novella…

    I wouldn’t dare call myself or anyone else unworthy. Why? I sure would never want my children to ever think they were unworthy of “bothering” me with the littlest thing they might want to bother me with. I would be insulted if they ever thought they weren’t worthy enough for that or for anything else they might need from me. Some of what they say I hear and let roll of because I know they can manage through on their own and just talking about it was good enough. Other times I might put a little side thought in their heads opposite what they’re thinking just to give them a different angle to consider. But even if it’s a little annoyance that has already worked itself out, it’s the talking that does the trick. No action on my part required except I’m there.

    I cannot believe in any part of me that God thinks we are at all unworthy. And I don’t believe He wants us to feel like we are. As a parent, I think nothing would hurt me more than to think my children felt that way.

    On to the excema.. I’m assuming you’ve seen a doctor. I have family who struggles horribly with excema. They use special detergent – free and clear, etc – and only plain ivory soap, nothing with fragrance, they’re careful with lotions and scents. I’m guessing you’ve either found something you’re allergic to in the past six months … or your stress level is much too high. Sitting on your knees may not be necessary (your thoughts work whatever stance you’re in) but maybe a meditative pose at least once a day in the quiet behind a closed door would be a good idea. I think that’s the big benefit of on the knees prayer – the meditative quality of it that is an incredible stress relief. But sitting cross legged works, or any comfortable position, just so it becomes a sign to your body over time that this is “clear the mind and let God push everything else out” for a while time. Which reminds me, I need to get back to that, too.

    I pray your hand heals quickly and you stop feeling unworthy. Because you aren’t. Deep breath…


  2. Perhaps I didn’t express myself well enough.

    When I say “unworthy” I mean it in the sense that we can never achieve God’s standard of perfection — sinlessness if you will. That’s why Jesus came to die for our sins, because we couldn’t do it for ourselves. No sin can enter heaven, and none of us is sinless. That’s what makes Jesus’ sacrifice so special: we didn’t deserve it, but he did it anyway. He loves us that much.

    I apologize for not saying that better.

    You said it perfectly about your children coming to you. That’s another thing I tried to say, because that’s what God wants from us as well. So unworthy or not, I can’t turn away from God. As you said, to not go to him is an insult to him.

    And yes, I’ve been to the doctors, I use the non-perfumed soaps, etc, and have for years. And if it’s an allergy, why my right hand and not my left?

    That it’s stress related I have no doubt. Eczema tends to perpetuate itself: the more it flares up, the more stressed out I get.


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