When You Can’t Pray for Yourself - iBelieve Truth: A Devotional for Women - May 18



When You Can’t Pray for Yourself
By: Maggie Meadows Cooper

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. - Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

"Hey, how are you!?"

"Hey, I'm ok. But listen...can you pray for me real quick? I just can't pray for myself right now."


I've received this call before. But I remember a time that it was my turn to make it. Three nights of no sleep due to my baby boy's awful case of swimmer's ear, the frustration of trying to contain our two labs who love to roam the neighborhood, my newly-potty-trained two-year-old tee-teeing right smack dab in the middle of the bathroom just "cause," fruit flies swarming in my kitchen because of some apples that rotted while we were at the beach, another morning of more rain... you get the picture.

Nothing huge went down. Nothing drastic had happened. Just everyday life. But exhaustion set in. The piles of laundry, sticky kitchen floor, and dirty bathroom counters were waiting to be taken care of, and I was at the point where I had nothing left to give.

I knew what I needed.

I needed the Lord's strength.

But I didn't even have it in me to ask Him for it.

So, I called a friend.

She covered me in prayer for peace, strength, endurance, healing, and rest. It wasn't the most eloquent of prayers. It didn't drip with religious terms or scripture. It was just a friend talking to God for another friend who couldn't do it herself. And it was just what I needed.

Earlier in my Christian walk, I would have felt guilty for not being able to "handle" things myself.  My pride might have kept me from asking for help. I wouldn't want the Lord or my friends to think I couldn't make it on my own. But yall, I can't. Plain and simple. And the more I get to know Jesus, the more I realize how desperately I need Him. And how desperately I need women in my life to intercede for me.

A friend recently told me that I was her "positive" person. That when she needed encouragement, she came to me. I was so thankful that the Lord has helped me be that. But y’all, it's not me. It's Him.

I can be as negative as the next person when I am not keeping Jesus close to me. There are days like today when I throw a pity-party and would love to get in bed and eat two cases of ice cream and watch ridiculous Lifetime movies to feed my sob story. But thankfully, I have friends to be my back-ups and step in for me before I go there.

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. - Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

We all fall down. And we all need a friend "who sticks closer than a brother" to pick us up. The next time you can't put one foot in front of the other and Jesus feels like He's on the other side of the world, call a friend. Ask her to pray with you... and for you... right then and there. Whether you are right in the middle of the dairy aisle in the grocery store or curled up in bed at home.

Go there, unashamed.

Today I still have crazy dogs.

I still have a toddler who likes to run around with no panties on.

And by golly, it's raining again.

But now I am refilled with Jesus' strength and not my own.

I have peace. And I can find joy in my mess that I didn't see before.

When you can't pray for yourself, it's ok.

Boldly ask a friend to stand in the gap for you and with you.

And one day they will do the same.


Maggie Meadows Cooper is a wife, mother, educator, author, and blogger with a longing for women to grow a heart for Jesus and others. She is the author of the children’s book Bumper, helping others to see that the heart is what counts most. She blogs at The Little Moments about what the Lord is teaching her in everyday life and contributes to Blogs by Christian Women, Devotional Diva, She Disciples, and Connecting Ministries. An educator with a M. Ed. in Early Childhood Education from Auburn University (War Eagle!), she has eighteen years experience teaching and currently serves as a Parent Coordinator in the Opelika City Schools. She loves all things chocolate, real Coca-Cola, and leading the FBCO Teen Moms group. She lives with her husband, three children, and two rambunctious dogs in Opelika, Alabama.

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