It's more than OK to ask for prayerI've called our current series "Keeping Going..."
I've sensed that many of us are in that place where we are depleted emotionally, physically and spiritually and that we are constantly facing disappointments from society. The things we had hoped for from the economy, our politicians and so on have been slow in arriving and we experience high levels of anger and cynicism in society.
But we need to keep going.
We need to carry the flame of God's love to the world.
We should be part of the solution and not part of the problem.
So how do we do this?
I've already talked about discouragement and encouragement and yesterday Max Lucado helped us with the choices we must make every day.
Today I want to consider an idea that many people balk at:
Asking people to pray for you in your struggle.
This is something people hesitate to do:
"People are so busy - how can I burden them with prayer requests?"
"With so many people with much bigger needs than mine, how can I ask for prayer?"
"Do I even deserve having people pray for me and God answering those requests?"
But in our reading for today, Paul is adamant about about the power of prayer and fearless in asking for prayer:
- He "urges" the congregation in Rome to pray for Him
- He emphasises that we are family (brothers and sisters) in Christ
- He puts his request in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit. He's really indicating that God is completely behind this idea. (I love the fact that it is in Jesus' name as He is the one who knows our suffering and the "love of the Spirit" implies that the Spirit causes us to pray and that He prays with us.)
- He is adamant that when we struggle, praying to God for each other is effective.
So often we try to "go it alone". Sometimes we will sit down and share our burdens with others, but then that's all it is - an unburdening - we don't ask for the most important thing which is prayer. Some of the greatest breakthroughs in my spiritual journey have come when I have contacted a few mature Christian friends and said: "I am going through a struggle - please pray for me."
Not only is this a good thing, not only does it work, but Paul urges us to do it!
|I urge you, brothers and sisters, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me. (Romans15:30)|