Have you ever asked an unbeliever to pray with you?
I’ve finally managed to get more comfortable telling unbelievers that I will pray for them … especially when they ask me to pray for them … although I’ve never really understood why someone who doesn’t believe in God would ask a Christian to pray for them — but that’s a different topic.
I recently read an article suggesting that when unbelievers are in need of prayer, Christians can offer to pray with them rather than just assuring the unbeliever that we’ll pray for them “later” when they don’t have to participate in it.
So … barriers for me — I’m barely starting to get more comfortable praying out loud with, and on behalf of, other Christians whom I know fairly well. I didn’t grow up in a Christian household where praying was a normal thing that most people did. So it’s easy for me to have private conversations with God … but a lot harder for me to do it when there are others who are a part of the conversation.
But … God expects us to keep growing more like Jesus … who clearly prayed aloud both with and on behalf of others all the time. This is a place that I want to grow in my own relationship with God … and with other people.
I recently was in a late night conversation with a friend who was clearly hurting and needing to share that burden. I found myself wanting to pray for her – and with her … but I couldn’t bring myself to suggest it.
Maybe the right prayer is a silent one to the Holy Spirit for help in offering help…