I don’t like asking for help. That applies to many different areas of my life, but recently God has been showing me that I’m slow to ask others to pray for me. When an extreme crisis hits, it’s easier to ask for prayer, although even then, it’s not the first thing I think of. But when I’m just having a really tough day as a mom, when I’m weary and don’t feel like I will make it, or when I’m worrying and losing the fight for trust in God, I rarely seek help.
As I’ve pondered the reason for this, I’ve realized two things. First, I’m way more self-sufficient than I’d like to admit. I deceive myself into thinking that if I just buckle down more, quote Scripture to myself, or turn up the worship music, then I’ll be fine. And while those can be helpful things to do, they aren’t a substitute for admitting that I’m insufficient in myself; that I’m a sinner who needs help first from God, but also from my sisters in Christ. I need the body to lift me up.
Second, I greatly fear what others, especially other moms, think of me. If I text other ladies and share that I’ve been angry at my kids many times today and ask them to pray for me, what will they think? Or if I admit that I’m weary and finding it hard to find joy in my role as wife and mom, will they scorn me? It shouldn’t matter, but to my sinful heart, it does.
As I’ve studied Scripture and tried to tune the ears of my heart to what my heavenly father is saying, I hear him telling me that there are oceans of grace available to me each day, if I would just ask. I simply need to ask God for help. In the moments of my day, I need to stop, even if just for a couple of minutes, admit I need aid, and ask for it. But also, I’m coming to realize there is a unique grace that comes when I invite others to pray for me. In the mystery (or perhaps divine plan) of God, the simple task of reaching out to others to say, “Would you pray for me?” opens up waves of grace almost instantly.
The humility of asking for prayer has also built community and relationships in a way that few other things have. By asking, I’ve admitted to my sisters that I too am a sinner in need of grace and that I need help and community. I also give them the blessing of praying for a friend. The funny thing is that by asking for prayer from others, I’ve found they are quicker to return by asking me to pray for them, and then I get the chance to care for them, too.
If you’re like me and find yourself in a similar place, let me encourage you that the best way to grow in this is just to do it. That seems to be the simple direction that God has given me: do it. Your Community Group is a great place to start. Create a text group with all the ladies of your group (everyone, not just the few ladies you feel close to) and then be the first one to ask them to pray for you. You’ll be amazed at the grace poured out. I promise.