Editor's note: This column by the late Bev Davis originally was published Sept. 23, 2006. Davis passed away Aug. 1, 2010, of a sudden illness.
A few weeks ago, I went to church with a heavy heart. I hadn't shared my burden with anyone else. During the praise and worship time, I struggled to be sincere in what I was singing. My heart just wasn’t in it. I had often prayed about this particular matter, and I felt there was just nothing more to be said to God about it. I didn’t have a prayer to offer that day.
A young woman in front of me suddenly turned around and said, “I don’t know who you are and I know you don’t know me, but I believe the Lord wants me to pray for you right now.”
I welcomed her offer, and we joined hands as she prayed aloud for me while the music swelled around us. Some of the things she prayed for met my need exactly. When she had finished, I felt refreshed and had a new perspective about my situation. We hugged and returned to worship. This time, I was fully engaged and sang from a joyful and thankful heart.
This week, a minister shared how he had been led to approach another man of the cloth and offer a prayer with him. At first, he hesitated, thinking, “That’s a man of God. He knows how to pray. He doesn’t need me to step up to the plate and pray with him.” However, he continued to feel strongly that he should approach his Christian brother and pray for him. He did so, and found it was the very encouragement a fellow minister needed during a weary day in his life.
A day later, a friend shared with me how she had been led to pray with a college classmate. Thinking she might be rebuffed, my friend approached the young woman quietly and made the offer, which was warmly received. When my friend had finished praying, the classmate looked up with tears in her eyes and said, “No one ever offered to do that for me before.”
Folks, there are all kinds of people around us who “don’t have a prayer.” They may be burdened about an ongoing problem that has worn them out.
They may be dealing with a chronic illness or going through chemo or radiation treatments that rob them of energy.
They may be too discouraged to offer a prayer of their own.
They may be devout believers in the power of prayer, but for whatever reason, they can’t find the words or the energy to form a prayer. What greater gift could we give them, or what greater service could we provide, than to pray with them?
Just saying we’ll pray privately for them may not be enough. However, letting them actually hear the petition leave our lips and go to the throne of God may give them that extra measure of faith they need to forge ahead in their particular struggle.
It doesn’t hurt to make the offer. It may be more welcome than you think.