NO, the problem is not that there are too many of them! (Although I used to think that was my problem!) Since I receive most (not all, but most) of people's prayer requests through the internet, several years ago I threatened to throw my computer out the window if I got "one more" prayer request! I am so glad I never followed through on that threat!
No, the problem with prayer requests is NOT that there are too many of them. The problem with prayer requests is how we, as intercessors and prayer leaders/coordinators "perceive" them.
Depending upon the setting, I have been both a prayer intercessor and a prayer leader/coordinator; therefore, I am able to speak with knowledge, experience, and expertise.
Yes, the problem with prayer requests is how we "perceive" them.
Unfortunately, how we, as intercessors and prayer leaders/coordinators "perceive" a particular prayer request is likely to affect how, and to what extent, we pray for the particular request.
Is a child's prayer "unimportant?"
So, why do we, as intercessors and prayer leaders/coordinators feel that we have the right to "perceive," and therefore judge, the prayer requests that come to us as "insignificant" and "unimportant?"
So, why do we continue to have our own "perceptions" come through in the way in which we share those requests?
- the "perception" that they have of how urgent the request is
- the "perception" that they have of how long the request might need to be prayed for
- the "perception" that they have of how long the actual request is
- the "perception" that they have of what they feel would be important to the people with whom they are sharing the request with
- how "important" the person in need is to the person praying
The list could go on and on...
But it shouldn't...
There should be no such "list!"
We HURT the precious people that NEED prayer when we make "lists" of what is and what is not important based upon our own "perceptions!"
And we run the risk of pushing them away from asking for prayer in the future based upon the "judgments" of prior experiences!
- GOD has NO "list"
- we are ALL "important enough to God," and if He even takes notice of birds, how much more will He care about what is important to each of us, whom He created in His own image
- we were ALL "important enough" to Jesus to die for us
- our role as intercessors and prayer leaders/coordinators is to receive prayer requests, pray as the Holy Spirit leads, pass on those requests as our individual roles and responsibilities require, and continue to be sensitive and obedient to the Holy Spirit as to whether or not He has made that particular request a "prayer assignment" for us to continue based on His Spirit's leading
- when we, as intercessors and prayer leaders/coordinators, are tempted to "judge" someone else's prayer request as "important" or "unimportant" based upon our own "perceptions," we need to go back to #1, #2, #3, and #4!
I believe that "judging" someone's prayer request based upon our own "perceptions" grieves the very Spirit of God!
So, how do I know?
Well, not only have I been an intercessor and a prayer leader/coordinator, I have also been the mom of children who have been scarred by my increasingly chronic and disabling sickness that has me increasingly more homebound and hinders me increasingly more from being involved in their lives in the ways that they and I would like - whose prayer requests have been "perceived" and "judged" as "too insignificant and unimportant" to continue asking for prayer and "too insignificant and too unimportant" to pass on any further to additional intercessors.
And that hurts.