First and foremost, prayer is just spending time with God. The idea that we have easy access to God—the Creator of the universe—at any time is amazing. We’re not put on a waiting list, we don’t have to call a special number and wait for a call back. We can connect with God at any time we want, and that’s an incredible thing that I know I often take for granted.
When I have the chance to pray with someone, I approach it in a very simplistic way. I know it’s not about the words I say or how I say them—I’m just helping facilitate a connection with God. Most people know that they can pray themselves, but praying with someone, for someone . . . it takes a weight off of their shoulders to have someone advocating for them. We’re just opening our hands to what God wants to do in our lives.
I think two assumptions can happen when you see someone going forward for prayer. One is that when you look at someone standing there, waiting to pray with someone, you might think they are a spiritual titan. Nope! I’m just as nervous for you to walk up to me as you are to come forward. There’s a level of vulnerability on both sides. The second assumption is to think that the person going forward for prayer must be dealing with something really significant in their life. That you should only ask for prayer if you have a health struggle or a broken relationship or are facing a big life change. But I’ve had people come up to me and simply ask me to pray a blessing over them. You can come forward for any reason, big or small. And when we do so, I think it sets an example for the rest of the congregation, helping us get rid of the labels in our minds for those who are requesting prayer. We all need prayer. I’d love to help people understand that receiving prayer is something beautiful.
Like anything, you have to give it a shot. What’s the worst that can happen? An awkward interaction with a prayer person? On the flip side, I’d like to think you’d experience something powerful and unique . . . because together you’ve been in the presence of God.