I don't often ask for prayers...for myself or for others. I tend to keep my needs to myself - close to my heart - asking for wisdom and guidance in a private way - in the quiet of my home (which really does happen... sometimes...) or when I have a moment of solitude.
Similarly, I don't often ask for prayers for others - I'm not sure why - maybe because I'd rather keep someone in my private thoughts ... maybe because it seems sometimes that it's become all too cliche to say 'I'll pray for you' kind of like 'come see me sometime...' something that is said in passing and while sincere at that moment in time, quickly forgotten in the hustle and bustle of daily lives.
And I don't like to gossip about the misfortunes of others - I don't like to be a link in the chain of 'did you hear about so-and-so' or 'it's just so awful that such-and-such happened...' Rather I sit by, quiet, kinda like a mute - and don't participate in the discussion.
But if ever there was a time to request prayers on behalf of others - if ever there was a time to ask that people stop in their tracks, for just a moment, to pray for healing, comfort, and peace - now is it.
I won't elaborate on details - just tell you that a tragic accident happened last Friday. A beloved member of our church lost her life, after 80-some years of devotion and service. Her daughter, who is another member of our church (who happens to teach my women's Bible study class - who has been actively helping me learn God's word) was critically injured. And her son and daughters (of which I really only know one - who is also helping to teach the Bible study class) are faced with the horrible HORRIBLE job of sitting by her side. Helpless. Scared. Confused.
I've been that daughter. I spent many an hour sitting by my mother's side when she was comatose- holding her limp and swollen hand - watching a machine pump air into and out of her body - wondering if she would live - if she could ever recover from the stroke and brain surgery she suffered. I spent one very quiet morning with my father (what turned out to be his last) - holding his limp hand - listening to the beeps and hums of the machines keeping him alive - knowing in my heart that he would soon be gone.
I never asked for prayers during those wretched times. I don't even remember if I prayed myself - as it was all so surreal and foggy and I could barely form sentences, let alone think of a coherent prayer.
But I felt them.
And the family intimately affected by this tragedy haven't asked for prayers.
But they need them.
So if you are inclined, please take a moment to think about a family that is hurting, scared, confused. Hold them up. Ask for comfort. Ask for peace. Ask for some sort of calm to help ease the confusion of this terrifying time.
I know they'll feel them.