This afternoon I was walking in the old sanctuary, praying through the church requests from the last few weeks. After finishing, noticed that many of the requests were neither personal nor for the direct nuclear family - rather, for external family, friends, missionaries and the like.
Only six of the 24 were directly personal, 11 of the 24 for the immediate family.
This concerns me a bit.
Not that we shouldn't pray for relatives & friends, nor share those requests with others. Certainly we should.
Rather, we should be able to share personal requests - if not with the whole congregation, at least with the staff & elders.
This list is from the past couple of months - are we truly to believe that our congregation only averages one personal request worth sharing weekly? Or is it more likely that we are shy about sharing - concerned with how others will view us - concerned that the information could be used against us - concerned about vulnerability and transparency in general?
In addition, 18 of the 24 requests were for health issues. Again, it is important to pray about health issues. But do we not have spiritual, emotional, relational and other issues that need prayer?
Perhaps sharing personal requests across the congregation - or even with our leadership - is a bit intimidating. But please, allow me to encourage you to share personal requests with those you can trust, or feel free to call/email me with them. "Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective."
And I will try to do the same.