The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective…. (James 5:16).
Have you ever asked someone to pray for you, not really because you wanted them to come alongside you, but because you want them to feel bad for you? I have. I’ve even asked others for prayer hoping maybe they could fix my problems, or that maybe they would see me as deeply spiritual for my prayer request.
It’s crazy how often I hear this little voice go off in my head after I ask for prayer. It’s this prideful voice that says, “Look at me.” It’s the voice of the enemy that’s trying to keep me from giving my whole self to God as I gather for prayer. The center of attention, too often, in my own heart, becomes me.
“How long is this prayer going to last?”
“Gosh, this person is still having those same problems? Can’t they get it together?”
“I wonder if people were impressed by my prayer?”
“Ugh, this person, they always pray for sooo long.”
“I wonder if this person feels bad for me and what I have had to endure.”
Sadly, all of these, at one time or another have run through my heart in mind while sitting in prayer circles with others. You see, my lack of love for prayer really just reveals a love for myself that is unhealthy and selfish. I wish that it wasn’t like that, but if I could be quite honest, it’s certainly something that I am still very much working on.
Lord, forgive me for my selfish heart. Make me more like you. Grow and change me. Grant me a deep love for prayer. I don’t want to love myself more than I love to seek you with others in prayer. So often, I can make things about me. Please forgive me, I pray, in Jesus name, Amen.