Why is it so difficult to ask for prayer? Why is it so difficult to pray at all, especially if it’s for ourselves?
Why do I hesitate to — not necessarily to pray — but to publicly tell people I’m praying for them?
As to the last question, for me anyway, it seems like nothing more than following the crowd. When I say I am or will pray for someone along with a hundred others, am I really praying, or am I just saying that so the recipient (hopefully) and me feels better?
And does it make any difference?
I know many a prayer warrior. Their prayers matter. I’ve seen the results. When I add my own, it seems the recipient doesn’t get the results they’re looking for. Like I’m a jinx and not adding my voice is best for all involved.
In my head I know that’s not true. My heart takes more convincing.
Nor is it selfish to pray for ourselves and to ask for others to do the same. I once said in another blog entry years ago (paraphrased since I’m too lazy to find the exact quote): “As if there’s a warehouse in Heaven that holds a set amount of prayers. To use them unwisely means there won’t be enough left for those who truly need them.”
Sounds ridiculous when I put it that way, doesn’t it?
In fact, prayer perpetuates itself. As with every other act, the more we pray, the better we are at doing it. Anyone can become a prayer warrior; as long as we make a habit of it, and do so sincerely.
Prayer isn’t always about getting what we want, unless what we’re ultimately looking for is a closer relationship to God. It’s how we talk to him, and it’s how he hears us. It’s also how God renews us. Jesus showed this countless times. Whenever he felt exhausted from preaching and healing, he stole away to pray by himself. If he didn’t he would have burned himself out, for one, and he wouldn’t have been able to hear his father’s voice as clearly. His mind would have been too full of the noise of this world; it’s worries and temptations.
God also never said to only pray for certain things. It’s okay to ask for selfish and even silly reasons. Aren’t we silly when developing relationships with other people ? He said, in fact, to pray unceasingly, and to ask for anything. He can (and does) say no. That’s his prerogative, just as a parent can (and does) say no when a child asks to eat chocolate ice cream for supper.
Just pray, even if it’s without words, because as scripture says, the Holy Spirit will gives voice to the groanings too deep for words (Romans 8:26).