"Please pray for me."
Today, I saw an old friend in town, and, after we got caught up and finally said our goodbyes, she asked me to pray for her. Family problems were eating her up.
How have you responded if and when you were asked this? Obviously, the friend making such a request thinks YOUR prayers would be effective on his or her behalf. Of course, how we respond today is far different from how we used to respond as JWs. Witnesses are peculiar about praying for anyone outside the fold.
My moms first cousin came to visit. Not a Witness. She was going through some troubles. She turned and said to my dad "_____, pray for me" and she put her head down. My dad said, No. I was shocked! She died the next year.
That is really sad. Sorry for your cousin (once removed?), who could have been comforted if your dad had shown a little compassion and bent the JW rules.
The person I am today would be sympathetic to the plight such a person is going through however I would explain to them why I dont believe my praying to a mythical God is going to do them any good.
And if I were able to offer sound advice and suggestions to help them I would,but prayer is not something I believe in anymore.
CC- I tell people that I will send out positive thoughts and hopes to them that their situation gets better- but I never offer to " pray " for them - as I'm agnostic and don't believe in " prayer " . I offer to be there for them if they'd like to talk or need a friend- but I do not believe in the " prayer " thing. I hope your friends family problems get better or their situation gets solved- family problems can eat a person up indeed. I'm glad you can be there for this person as a hearing, sympathetic friend . Take care, Peace out, Mr. Flipper
Thanks, smiddy and Mr. Flipper, for your positive and practical thoughts. Yes, being a sympathetic and available friend is what matters. All too often, my mantra had been "wait on Jehovah."
Just the other day I told another friend how the scripture in Chronicles re: Jehoshaphat's eyes being toward Jehovah meant so much to me. Whether you're surrounded by pagan armies or a mountain of unsolvable problems, it's natural to look to a higher source. I guess that's how we're wired. The story of how I learned those verses is a story all by itself. But the so-called power of prayer?
You fellows answered that.
Thanks and happy trails!
I tell them I will.
I am not sure if there is a God or not so I guess that puts me in the agnostic category if there is a need to define by "category".
The thing is, I dont know anything about how all of that works (and neither does anyone else).
If the mere act of hearing their request and answering in the affirmative gives them comfort or is soothing? I will do it.
For me it appears rather like telling a bed time story to a small child who cant sleep. Its soothing and comforting whether its true or not.
I can at least provide that.
My thinking is that if someone asks me to pray for them it is either perfunctory (like have a nice day - doesnt really need an answer) or they are really afraid/desperate and I can meet their current need without invoking my personal views.
Thank you, millie210:
That was beautifully put. Regardless of how we respond, there does remain the reality -- or non-reality -- of the efficacy of prayer. I see you, millie, as wishing to comfort the sorrowing, troubled person. You don't need to think it through and then give a labored explanation to that poor friend who asks you for help.
Blessings and peace.
I agree with flipper about offering practical help. I would say, "If he is listening to anyone's prayers it would be yours, but I can listen and talk to you about what can be done to help and support you. He just might be trying to answer your prayers through others. I'm here for you."
Why make it a discussion about theology? To tell them prayer doesn't work is to crush their only source of comfort.
Another excellent and helpful reply, Wasa Once!