We Need to Admit We Need Each Other

by Hans on September 10, 2015 in Community, Prayer, Uncategorized

“I know it’s ironic, but I asked for prayer.”

stairs

If you’ve been coming to the Oaks for the past few months, you’ve noticed that we make prayer available in the back for those who desire it. This was borne out of our marriage series, where we realized that married couples may be struggling with significant issues and may want others to pray with them. A friend met up with me and shared that, at least for the series, he wanted to meet with people should they desire it.

Recently, something happened during our prayer time that made me glad—and made me think.

Most people in our congregation don’t go back for prayer. I’ve wondered why. Maybe they don’t have problems that they think are worth sharing, or maybe they don’t know the people who would be praying for them. Is it something about moving from their seat? Is having it in the back too awkward? Do they not want people to look at them? Regardless of the reasoning, a trickle of people still goes for prayer—even people who are admittedly not Christians.

“I know it’s ironic, but I asked for prayer.”

“Yeah, it is kind of ironic. But why did you go?”

“I just needed guidance.”

My wheels started spinning. What does someone who isn’t a Christian see in being prayed for by Christians? What goes on in a person’s life and heart that makes him or her seek hope in something they aren’t sure is real? And, if this person sees something in being prayed for, what holds people who know God back from seeking prayer from other brothers and sisters who know full well that their life doesn’t make sense without Jesus?

Now, what made me glad? I was glad for a person who isn’t convinced that Jesus is real found people at the Oaks worth trusting with prayer. I’m glad that such prayer was seen as helpful instead of offensive. That shows graciousness on both sides.

What made me think? I wonder why we—people at the Oaks—have trepidation about sharing our prayers with one another. What keeps us from saying, “I need God to move in this way in my life?” Why are pleasantries easier for the saints than petitions? We need each other—and we need to admit that we need each other.

If you expected answers here, you came to the wrong place. Each person’s story is different and his or her histories and struggles are rarely congruent. Some people have a trusted group of friends who pray for them; others have a hard time opening up; others are afraid of looking like they don’t have it together; still others are sharing their needs with anyone they may come in contact with. Along with that, it could be about the location of the people available for prayer (who goes to the back of the room), or familiarity with the team available for prayer, or even the environment of a sanctuary. All of that matters—I understand it.

Regardless of the reasons, here’s my hope: that our church needn’t fear having needs, sharing them, or being prayed for by others in the church family—and I believe there is a shifting tide. I believe that sometimes it just takes stepping out a half an inch with our hearts to begin walking more deeply in faith and in community.

I hope for more people who don’t know if Jesus is real come to our church, find comfort in the community, and share their concerns with us. I think it speaks volumes about the spirit of the people, and for that I’m grateful.

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Disclaimer: The dialogue here is inexact, but captures the essence of the conversation. Also, the person the post is about helped to edit it to be sure that it was accurate. I’m very honored by that.

One response to We Need to Admit We Need Each Other

  1. I so enjoyed reading this post and the last one about loving our church. I also wish folks would pray more openly. Perhaps we should have more times when we take a few minutes during the service and have folks pray out loud. At Lunch On Your Knees we pray a lot for our country, the youth, the unreached, the addicted, missionaries, Israel, repentance and revival in our church and our nation. Nothing compares to continually falling in love with Jesus every day, and prayer nurtures this relationship.

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