Throughout these past several years, I have been asked to pray for a woman dealing with hard circumstances in her marriage.
Whether it’s sin on her husband’s part, minimal finances, abuse, hopelessness, wives who admit their own sin or any other reason, I’ve been privileged to pray with and for these women as they learn to depend on God.
I’ve been thankful that I can encourage them to obey God and to honor their marriage covenants.
I’ve been blessed to see prayers answered and watch them grow closer to God.
I’ve also considered it a privilege to keep their requests private. I know that sharing deep painful prayer requests like these is never easy.
It’s hard to know if it’s ok to share things that aren’t pretty. It’s not easy to be completely vulnerable with requests that are heartbreaking.
I know from personal experience that sometimes after sharing a deeply private request, it can feel awkward. You hope they really are trustworthy with your request. You hope they aren’t looking at you thinking “oh my!” You hope that they don’t look down smugly at you now that they know something less than perfect about you or your marriage. You hope and pray that they won’t spill your beans.
That part stinks because unfortunately some people are not listening to prayer requests and the cry from broken hearts in order to pray and encourage and support. They’re listening in order to bring it up later.
Unfortunately, I also know from personal experience how it feels to find out something I shared with someone I assumed was trustworthy is shared far and wide. It hurts on a very deep level. It also makes one wonder if being vulnerable is worth it.
Because I know how difficult it is to share deeply private prayer requests and because I know how it feels to have a prayer request used against me as a weapon, I am so very careful when someone asks me to pray for them or with them. I keep their heartache and tears close to my heart and I pray for them every time they come to mind. But using their request as a weapon or ammo or a story to tell to a group or another person? Never.
I think of the people who prayed and prayed with me and the people who cried with me and I know that I am thankful for their true heart to bring my requests before God. When someone shares with me, I am thankful that I can show the love of Christ in their life by keeping their requests private.
Isn’t it amazing that we can take these requests to God and know He hears? Isn’t it amazing to find people who want to pray with you when you’re hurting?
God is good!