Prayer Request Challenges

Ephesians 6:18 tells me I am supposed to “…keep on praying for all the saints.” (NIV) Because of physical proximity these saints are most likely to be people in my church and Bible-study group. It seems my prayers for them should begin with their spiritual condition and then expand to physical health and family relationships. But too often that’s not how it works.

When small groups of Christians (10-15) meet, their prayer requests are more likely to be “My son needs a job” or “My neighbor is in the hospital” than “I’m having trouble loving some of the people in my church.”

As a child of God I tend to be ashamed. I don’t want to admit to other Christians that I have spiritual needs such as lack of faith, fear of the future or a tendency to criticize. I fear that such expressed needs will become gossip fodder rather than prayer topics. So I don’t request prayers for the really important issues in my life.

If I have such lack of confidence in my brothers and sisters, they probably feel the same way about me.

And once again I have done a better job of identifying and isolating a problem than offering a solution. Do you have any ideas?


My stumbling, bumbling, simple prayers are accepted by God for the same reason that parents value their first-grader’s art work…LOVE. Do you suppose God sometimes puts our prayers on his refrigerator door?