Should You Feel Embarrassed to Ask for Prayer?
Have you ever hesitated to ask someone to pray for you because:
- You didn’t want to bother them?
- You thought, “My concern is not that big of a deal. I can handle it on my own.”
- You were embarrassed to ask?
- You didn’t think to ask?
- You didn’t know who to ask?
Survey a hundred women and ask why they don’t have others pray for them more often, and these are the answers you’ll hear.
Yet, who among us couldn’t use more prayer for our lives?
Let’s take a deep breath and admit something we all know: Life can be complicated, confusing, and sometimes, difficult.
But, in my experience, most women feel hesitant to ask for prayer.
Oh, we have no problem asking people to pray for others–our friends, our family members, or even the neighbor down the street. But, to ask for personal prayer for ourselves?
Uh. Not so much.
Here’s what I’m learning about why we need to ask others to pray for us more often.
Last weekend I was scheduled to speak at a women’s retreat where I prepared four new messages. In all candor, writing didn’t come easy.
The harder I studied the more confused I felt. I begged God to fill my mind, but my mind remained devoid of direction. For two weeks a giant fog settled over my brain and wouldn’t lift, while each day the conference loomed nearer.
“Maybe I’m not supposed to do this anymore,” I confessed in defeat to my pastor/hubby, JP.
“Ask the prayer team to pray for you,” he suggested.
I can figure this out on my own. After all, I’m praying about it, I rationalized. I mean, it wasn’t like my quandary was devoid of prayer altogether.
On Thursday–the day before the retreat–I put the finishing touches on my messages, just in time to breathe a sigh of relief.
But, at 9 pm I got sick. Like, sick, sick.
I spent the night on my bathroom floor.
Around 10 pm, I texted the women’s ministry director to inform her about my situation. Then, I made a vulnerable request, given the time of night: “Text the prayer team and ask them to pray.”
Here’s the record of our text exchange:
WMD: Good call. Can I share with them how you’re feeling or just ask for general prayer?
ME: Feel free to share anything and everything!
Maybe it was sheer desperation, but all pride, self-sufficiency, and hesitation about having anyone and everyone pray for me went out the window.
Guess what happened?
God showed up in the hours that followed in a way I’m not sure words can adequately describe, except to say I was well enough to travel, speak, and see God move like I’ve rarely witnessed.
What does this have to do with why you need people to pray for you, too?
Because you are in a battle as surely as I was.
And, while you may not be trying to discern what to say to a crowd of women, you may be trying to discern what to say to a disengaged spouse, a disheartened child, or a disgruntled client or co-worker. If so, you need your own set of words filled with God’s set of wisdom.
You may not be laying sick on a bathroom floor, but you might be folding clothes on a laundry room floor, or holding someone’s hand who’s on a hospital floor.
And, you know what? Just like me….
You need spiritual strength to keep going when you wonder if you’re up to the task.
You need physical strength when you’re weary.
You need emotional strength when you’re tapped dry.
You need to be healed so you can help others be healed, too.
You need help so you don’t throw up your hands in despair or throw in the towel and quit.
Most of all though, you need hope.
Admittedly, these are tall orders. Almost too much to ask for.
Except for the fact that God tells us we can, and we should ask for these things.
Why? Because prayer makes a difference.
“Pray for one another.” The concept is repeated and illustrated throughout the pages of scripture.
We know this.
Still, many of us hesitate to call or text a friend with a simple request: “Would you pray for me right now?”
These are vulnerable words, aren’t they?
And, my goodness, most of us don’t like to be vulnerable! It makes us feel needy.
Even more of us don’t like to bother people. It makes us feel like a nuisance.
But, the truth is, asking someone to pray for you doesn’t bother them, it honors them.
Does it take humility to ask someone to pray for us? Yes, it does.
But, if last week taught me anything is that it’s time we admit we can’t do everything on our own. Trust me, there is FREEDOM in not pretending you are Super-Woman.
Here’s the secret that shouldn’t be a secret: Freedom is won on the battlefield of prayer.
I think I’m learning my lesson. Last night I attended a worship event where I was part of the prayer team. After praying for several people, I turned to a friendly looking woman with thick auburn hair. “Has someone prayed for you?” I asked.
“I’m actually part of the prayer team,” she said with a warm smile.
“Oh, me, too.”
We stood in comfortable silence while the band continued to play. Then, I had a thought.
“Would you mind praying for me?” I asked.
She placed her hand on my shoulder and prayed the most beautiful, encouraging prayer over my life.
All because I asked.
So, if there is something–anything–in your life that seems overwhelming, confusing, or impossible why don’t you reach out to a trusted Christian friend and ask her to pray for you?
Better yet, ask a friend how you can pray for her.
And, if you need prayer, let me know, too. It would be an honor to pray for you.
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
-Ephesians 6:10-12; 18
You are loved,
P.S. On the “That’s Just What I Needed Podcast” I’m choosing one lucky listener to win a $50 Amazon gift card. Listen wherever you find podcasts: Apple, Google, Spotify, Stitcher, Podchaser, and more!
More than a Bible teacher, Donna is a self-described Bible explainer. A colorful storyteller who combines Biblical truth with real-life anecdotes, her messages not only help listeners understand God’s Word, but most important, grasp how to live it out in real life.