Helpless Prayer


4 min read

blue shading of a person kneeling before a shadowy cross

Do you ever feel selfish whenever you ask someone else to pray for you?

I feel that all the time.

I find that time is such a precious resource that God has given to us. And maybe it’s silly, but in my mindset, the act of going to someone to give to you their time, as well as energy, to pray over something that may be trivial seems downright selfish. Unfortunately, that translates even to non-trivial times when prayer is most needed.

In those moments, I think I place myself into this logical argument that I shouldn’t bother others. Rather, the most important thing I should do in trials and tribulations is turn towards God, cry out to Him, and trust that He will take up all my anxieties and burdens.

And I do try that. I try all my might.

The problem is that I get myself into moments where I believe in lies. Believe in false truths. I’m scared that when I ask for prayer, I’m following a “template” ask in prayer. After doing so many emails to recruiters and following templates for pitches in entrepreneurship, it seems like my asks are lacking with intention:

“Hey so and so,

I’m not doing well and I need prayer on this, this, and that.

Could you pray for me on that? Thanks.”

Doing that once seems fine.

Three times is testing it.

But when it comes to ten or twenty times, I almost feel like I’ve done something dirty, and become a burden to my community.

I think that’s another problem I face. Not being able to trust community.

Not that I don’t trust community, but I feel that the problems I face in my life are my own. No one else should be able to witness or have to experience the pain that the problem holds. I think I run away from others, and seclude/isolate myself when I’m going through situations.

And it’s so ironic. As an entrepreneur, I’m always asking for help.

Whether it’s involving a project, some skill set that is needed, or mentorship through a given problem, I never cease asking. Yet, that heart of asking for help doesn’t translate into my prayer life.

In fact, it’s harder for me to ask for prayer than to ask someone for help involving startups.

And I think it’s crazy, because I don’t mind being vulnerable to others. I like to think that I thrive in vulnerability.

And I know that the power of humility allows God’s grace to do amazing work. Not just through himself, but also through others.

But the rawness of being helpless is so painful. A prayer for myself is so much more vulnerable than a task in school, work, or entrepreneurship. Those things are almost disconnected, like 3rd party entities that I’m contracted to ask for help for. Asking for prayer for myself is opening my soul to another human being, and revealing bits of my deepest self. In those moments of true helplessness, I feel as if I’m prone to any attack of judgement and failure.

But head knowledge-wise, I know I shouldn’t be this way. I know that there are many truths and lies that float around in people’s heads, and a big lie that I face is that asking for prayer is burdensome to others.

The world is busy, and ain’t nobody got time for me.

But that’s not true.

Even as I write this all out, it seems hard because I know how I feel is opposite to the undeniable truth that the Bible speaks. Biblical community is a place to turn to in everything, because it’s a place where joy and suffering is shared:

“If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.”

- 1 Corinthians 12:3

And even amidst all the hardship and trial, God is the main hope I should turn to. He is truly everlasting:

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. I will be found by you,” says the Lord. “I will end your captivity and restore your fortunes. I will gather you out of the nations where I sent you and will bring you home again to your own land.””

- Jeremiah‬ ‭29:11–14‬ ‭NLT‬

So my prayer even through all this, is that I will turn towards God. Even through the busyness. Even through the sorrow. Even through the times of confusion.

I want to place my hope in Him.

And as I tear out the lies that the devil has attempted to weave into my life, and etch deep into my heart the truths that God has to speak, I want to turn to my community.

No longer do I think that what I’m doing is selfish. But in humility, I want to turn towards my brothers and sisters in Christ to point me towards truth.

And likewise, I hope to be able to point them towards God all the same.

“Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again — my Savior and my God!”

- ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭43:5‬ ‭NLT‬‬