By Pastor Todd A. Peperkorn
I get this question often. Someone will come up to me and say something along the lines of, “I’m not sure if this is serious enough for you to pray for, but if you wouldn’t mind, would you put so-and-so on the prayer list?” We Lutherans are very stingy about our prayers. We don’t want to pray for someone too often or for too long. Maybe we’re afraid that if we pray for little things, that God won’t hear us when we need to pray for the really important stuff.
I would like to suggest to you another way of looking at this. We’ve talked about individual prayer, family prayer, and now here we come to congregational prayer. We pray for many people and things in church. We pray for the sick, the shut-ins, our military members, the President, our schools, and other things as the situation calls for it. The point is that our common prayers together should be inclusive and expansive, not stingy and feeble.
So here are a few tips for you on whether you should ask for the congregation to pray for someone:
- 1. If you wonder if the congregation should pray for someone, we should.
- 2. If you are concerned about someone, we can pray for them.
- 3. If you pray for someone, we can pray with you.
- 4. There is no concern too trivial for God’s people to pray for. God loves to hear our prayers, for the little things and the big things.
- 5. Don’t be ashamed to ask for us to pray for you! We are here for each other, and our Lord is here for you. Let us in! You never know what great things may come of it.
So the next question is really simple and practical: how do I ask for the congregation to pray for me? There are several ways you can do this:
- 1. Tell the pastor. When you tell him, make sure he writes it down so he doesn’t forget. You have to watch him sometimes…
- 2. Email the pastor. This frankly is probably the easiest way.
- 3. Put a note in the pastor’s mailbox at church. Bottom right mailbox.
- 4. Put a note in the “prayer requests” wooden box by the bulletins.
God bless you as you seek His blessing for yourself and for all of those whom God entrusts to your care.
From the March 2010 Messiah’s Messenger