Question: I often have people say, “I’m praying for you. I know I should be thankful but it always makes me feel like they have some ‘inside’ connection to God and that something wrong is happening or going to happen. I try to be thankful but instead I feel awkward. There are times I pray for others but because of how uncomfortable it makes me, I never tell them I’m praying. Do you have any insight on this? Am I alone in this? Do others ever feel this way?
Answer: “Am I alone in this?” NO! you’re not! It’s sad but what you share is true for many people. Thank you for bringing the topic up and let’s talk about it. I presented this question to our friends on Facebook and was blessed by the truthful, heartfelt responses. If you would like to view them for yourself you can visit our Wall at: www.facebook.com/momentswithmom I would love to hear what our blog readers have to say too! I am going to highlight some of my thoughts on the subject as well as tips to overcome the awkwardness. Most of all I pray for the Lord removes these borders that the enemy has built within the Body and allows us to care for one another’s burdens and worship Him in unity!
Questions to Consider:
- Could it be pride that stops us from praying in public? Pride that keeps us from asking for prayer? Pride that stems from insecurities?
- Do we feel we have an image to keep so we can’t ask for prayer? “What would others think of me if they knew?”
- Are we so self absorbed that we don’t have time to be still and hear the Lord bring someone to mind so that we can pray for them?
- Do we assume we’re just “thinking” of someone on our own strength instead of the idea that God is bringing that person to mind for a purpose?
- Do we see God as Sovereign in every area of our life… even in leading strangers to pray for us?
- Are we governed by critical spirits that cause us to misread between the lines of what the person is really saying when they tell us, “I’m praying for you”?
- Do we doubt that others are praying for us because we know how little we pray for them?
- Is our walk with the Lord new (not the way we were brought up) so it seems foreign to tell people you’re praying for them even when you are or pray for them in public?
- Have we shared our hearts with someone asking for prayer and encouragement only to discover they use it to hurt us? Do we allow that experience to rob us from the victory God wants in our lives as we work in unity as a Body?
- Are we uncomfortable with them praying for us because we question their own walk with God or for that matter even that they are praying to the One and only true God?
Suggestions and Tips:
- Step out of the box: Don’t let anything keep you from sharing with someone else that you’re praying for them. You never know how you sharing that with them can be an answer to prayer.
- Don’t be afraid to take the first step: Share your prayer requests and needs with others that the Lord has brought into your life.
- Make sure that you graciously say “thank you” when others pray for you. Just consider, someone took time out of their day to present you, your family, and your needs before the Lord. I find this a wonderful comfort!!
- Pray and wait for the Lord to direct your steps: If the Lord leads you to pray for someone in public- do it! If he doesn’t- don’t!
- Practice doing good: The more you pray for others, the more comfortable it will become to you. The more you share with others and encourage others, the more natural it will feel.
- Start a Prayer Get together: Get together with others that you trust to share your hearts, lives, and pray for one another!
- Be honest with yourself and others: Don’t say you’re praying for someone when you’re not!
- Keep a prayer journal: Immediately write down requests that others share with you. Then, using your journal as a reminder, pray for them in your quiet times and/or family time.
- Follow up: Make sure you follow up with a person that you have told you would pray for. This lets them know that you spoke genuinely and allows you to record God’s answers in your journal as well. Make sure you give Him praise as you see His work unfold!
- Duty is yours.. results are Gods: Pray as the Lord leads, share as the Lord leads and then trust Him for all the details. If the person doesn’t respond the way you thought they should don’t think another thing about it! You were being obedient to do as you felt the Lord leading you to do… and in the end… that’s all that matters!