It was supposed to be a prayer request, but my email started out more like an apology. I needed friends to pray, yet I was hesitant to ask. I didn’t want my burdens to burden them.
They already had so many problems of their own: illnesses, a job loss, death of a loved one, relationship strains, overwhelming stress, and overloaded schedules.
I questioned whether my need rated high enough on the urgency “Richter scale.”
Was it really bad enough to ask for prayer, or should I wait to see how things turned out?
The first sentence in my email went something like this: “I hate to add to your list of burdens, but I need prayer for JJ.”
A routine check-up and blood tests results caused my husband’s doctor to be concerned about his liver, which led to a biopsy that week. We didn’t know whether it would be anything serious in the end. I just knew I didn’t want to walk through it alone in fear, denial, or my own strength.
Within fifteen minutes of me hitting “send,” friends who were on their computers started telling me they were praying. And not only did they pray, they thanked me for sharing what was going on and for letting them be there for me.
One friend shared how someone she knew had been through a similar situation. Another asked questions and made some great suggestions. Then another cracked a funny joke that made me laugh, which I really needed to do!
The night before we went to the hospital, my friend Amy sent an email saying, “I’ve been lifting prayers heavenward for your family since your last email. Know that you’ll be in my thoughts and prayers tomorrow. Let us know as soon as you hear results. We’re all in this with you, friend.”
As I read her last sentence, I could almost feel the softness of her hands gently squeeze my shoulders and hear her saying, “We’re all in this with you, friend.”
And then it hit me, what if I had not shared our need?
I would’ve missed the comfort of having friends “with me” and peace that came through the power of their prayers.
They would’ve missed out on a chance to be the “body of Christ” by guarding our hearts and minds with God’s promises and the power of prayer. And they would have missed being part of what God was doing, the joy that came when medical tests went well, and the recovery that was quick. Even as we waited that week for biopsy results, their prayers and God’s peace were constant companions.
Are you are carrying a burden today? Don’t listen to doubts that make you question the validity of your need. Even if, like me, you hate to impose on others.
Asking for prayer isn’t about putting burdens on our friends. It’s about letting them walk by our side down a path we were never intended to walk alone.
Lord, thank You for never seeing my prayers as a burden. Help me remember the power and purpose of prayer in my life and in my friendships.
Let’s walk together and carry each other’s burdens this week by sharing a prayer request and praying for each other in the comments below. I’ll be praying for each of you! And will you leave a short prayer for the person who shares their need in the comment above yours?