Maybe it’s a guy thing.
Maybe it’s a culture thing.
Or maybe it’s a people thing.
When was the last time you asked someone to pray for you? If you’re anything like me it’s probably been a while. When did you last open up enough with someone else to share the deeper struggles that are on your heart day in day out?
It can be painful. “I don’t want to relive those hurtful memories.”
It can be awkward. “What will they think of me?”
It can be perplexing. “I don’t have a neat, chirpy, little prayer point.”
Or it can feel redundant. “I’m pretty good thanks, life is fairly well in my control at the moment.”
I think out of all these excuses we come up with to keep it to ourselves, this last one hits me the hardest. What is prayer at its most simple? It’s reliance upon the God who makes you, forgives you through His Son’s blood and calls you to Himself. It’s trust in who God is, what He has done, and what He is going to do. When I become self-reliant, prayer often becomes an afterthought. When my life is sailing along just how I want it, I start to trust more in myself and less in God. But I am a lot needier that my prideful heart likes to think. Certain moments bring this home in a flash. Sickness. Sleepless nights. Strained relationships. Lots more situations.
For the apostle Paul, this rings just as true. In 2 Corinthians 1 he talks about afflictions in which he ‘despaired of life itself’. Talk about hard times! Paul certainly felt pretty needy. He goes on to say how this made them ‘rely not on themselves but on God who raises the dead’. But even after God has delivered Paul he still asks his Corinthian brothers and sisters to pray for him. To ‘help’ him by praying!
I don’t really like feeling needy. I’m not sure anyone does. Call it a pride thing, but I’d like others to think I’ve got it together. But who am I kidding? The old song Rock of Ages by Toplady sums it up well:
Nothing in my hands I bring
Simply to your cross I cling
Naked come to you for dress
Helpless, look to you for grace
Stained by sin to you I cry
Wash me Saviour or I die
So, will you pray for me? You could ask the Lord that I wouldn’t be so proud in my heart. That I would see my need for his grace in every area of my life. That I would ask for help from others. That I wouldn’t try to be God, but let the rightful ruler of my life guide and lead me in His plans.
And ask me sometime to pray for you too.