A simple question

How may I pray for you? It is a simple question and yet can be so complex. Sometimes when we ask to pray for someone, we can a myriad of answers. One person may so, “oh well, just pray for my friend, she really needs prayer.” Or how about the statement, ” I’m ok, really. I’ll get by.” And I love the answer of ” Oh, I don’t need prayer, I’m ok, everything is fine.”  Really?  I often think when I get that answer, hmmmm she must have been in that pageant Queen of Denial and won the crown!  Life could be going fine in the sense of nothing earth-shattering, no one died. But in all honesty we all can use prayer. None of us have “arrived” to the place where we are perfect. If that were the case, I pretty sure they call that death and now living in heaven, where yes, we are made perfect! Until that time… we are all gonna need some prayer! 
I have found that for some it is difficult to ask for prayer or even admit they need prayer.
Why is that? I have a couple reasons that I have been pondering this week and just want to share them with you in hopes that if you are on the asking end you may understand the response you may get and dig a little deeper. OR if you are on the receiving end of that question that you will allow prayers to be said on your behave. 
I think perhaps one reason is people are afraid to be vulnerable. Let’s face it, when we say we need prayer, we are sharing the “stuff” that is going on in our lives. Being vulnerable takes stepping out of our comfort zone and actually being REAL with someone else. 
We are afraid of being judged. Not that any of us have ever done that before! We don’t really want people to know what we are going through or dealing with because we are afraid we will be thought of as “less than Christ-like” because we are struggling.
I have found that after talking with someone who needs prayer and responds to the answer I spoke of previously these two reasons seem to be the most prevalent. 
We don’t want to be hurt by being vulnerable and we certainly don’t want to be judged. 
I’m not saying we just share everything with everyone. We need people in our lives who we can trust and who can pray for us. 
There is a community of believers that truly do care for one another and truly do prayer for each other.  I pray for you weekly. I may not know each of your struggles, but God does. 
This has just really been on my heart this week. There are so many who struggle in secret. That does not have to be. That is such a lie from the pit of hell…”don’t tell anyone you are struggling. What will they think of you?”  The enemy of our soul does not want us to walk in the freedom that Christ has for each one of us. 
Today, my prayer is that the next time you are asked “how may I pray for you?” you will answer with “thank you, today I need prayer for…” and fill in the blank.
On the flip side of this there are many times I ask someone how I may pray for them and they truly do share what is going on. Why? Because they know I will pray for them, right there on the spot, in that moment. And here is one of the biggest reasons. They know they can trust me. I’m not going to use this as a “prayer request” to others and then begin to gossip about the situation. Yes, that does happen. 
So here’s the challenge for you this week! Ask someone how you may pray for them. Then DO IT!  Be sincere, be trustworthy. Then follow up with them and see how they are doing.
And if you get asked how someone may pray for you. Tell them! If it is someone who you may not know real well, give them something “simple” to pray for and test the waters, if you will.  I know that many of us who have been a christian for any length of time have been burned by being vulnerable and being judged and not being able to trust. I get it, believe me, I get it! Been there, done that. I have people often whom I don’t know well enough (especially when I was going through cancer) say to me “how can I pray for you?” I found a truthful answer by saying, “pray I keep my eyes focused on Jesus.”  Now that is a prayer every one of us can use! If our eyes are on Jesus, we will have all that we need and  because Jesus will give us the peace, wisdom, discernment  to handle the “stuff” that we are dealing with. 
So…. my question to you today is, how may I pray for you?  I’d love to hear from you. 
Blessings my friend.