At church last week, the pastor was continuing his series on unity. He was saying that we should offer to pray for people in church. I liked that he said that we do not have to inquire about the details of what people are going through when we offer to pray for them. That is helpful to me, as a potential giver and receiver of prayer. As a potential giver, I know what social boundaries to follow. As a potential receiver, I do not have to disclose things to people, that I would rather they not know or inquire about.
I suppose a good question is whether I will offer to pray for people in the congregation, as in right then and right there. I have my doubts. People would probably look at me funny if I asked them if they wanted me to pray for them. And I would probably look at someone else funny if he or she asked me if I needed prayer! Or I would say, “Thanks for offering, but that’s okay.”
Can church cultures really be changed? I would not be surprised if there are people in the congregation who believe that they follow the spirit of the pastor’s message, but they do so in their small groups, or with people they know. Does anyone at the church go up to a complete stranger in the church and ask if he or she needs prayer? I haven’t seen it! Maybe!