At a spiritual retreat one time, a saintly-looking pregnant woman gently touched my arm and said, “I’ll pray for you.”
“What? Why?” I asked in alarm. Did she sense something bad was coming my way? Did she think something was wrong with me? My stomach flip flopped. Why did she think I needed prayers?
“All need prayers,” she said with her own look of confusion. She didn’t seem to understand why I would be so nervous about having her pray for me.
The truth is, in my life when I felt like I needed prayers, it was because something was drastically wrong. You better believe I was asking everyone to pray for my child and our family when my 2-year-old was diagnosed with cancer. I was greedy for prayer then, and I believe our family received many graces from God as a result of those prayers.
But it never crossed my mind that someone would pray for me… just because.
A few years after that spiritual retreat, I was still struggling with the concept. My son’s regular post-cancer-treatment checkup was approaching. These appointments always made me nervous, because one little blood test could send us spiraling into the pit of cancer treatment all over again.
Usually, I could handle the anxiety on my own, but that particular time I was feeling extra scared. Even so, it was hard for me to ask for prayers. I didn’t want to bother anyone.
I felt like I should be able to deal with this on my own. Wasn’t I stronger than that? Finally I broke down and texted a group of close friends, asking them to pray.
In that simple act of asking for prayer, it was like some invisible cord was cut. The chains of fear that had been squeezing my heart were released, and I felt peace as we drove to the appointment. It reminded me, once again, of the power of prayer.
But the truth is, it’s hard to ask for prayer when those little things pop up in life. The things we feel like we should be able to handle on our own. It almost feels like asking for prayers is admitting defeat.
But why keep the power of prayer reserved only for the hardest times in our life? God’s grace is unlimited. We don’t have to save it up for a rainy day.
Imagine a world where we all prayed for each other, even about the small, daily struggles of life. That kind of prayer could unleash a phenomenal amount of grace on our normal, everyday lives.
So I challenge you (and myself), in the next few days, to ask someone for prayer. When something is bothering us – we’re struggling or we just can’t seem to get something off our mind – let’s reach out. Ask someone to pray for us. In turn, let’s offer to pray for them too.
Then let’s watch how it can bless our lives.
I’m not saying things will be perfect. What I do believe is that God will rain down grace and peace on us. God will help us get through our struggles more easily than we could have on our own.
Jenni DeWitt is embracing the power of prayer as she learns to love like a Christian in this crazy, mixed up world. She is the author of two books — Forty Days and Why Won’t God Talk to Me? as well as an upcoming YA Christian fiction trilogy. Find out more on her website at jennidewitt.com.