Can I pray for you?
5 words, in the form of a question. My upbringing makes me cringe when I hear them. I don't like it (normally) when someone asks me that. Especaiily if I have never met them... Sometimes it makes me feel those people are looking down on me...
I just finished the latest Dean Koontz book, "Your Heart Belongs to Me' and the phrase "I will pray for you" spoken by someone to someone else (no plot spoiler here) just made this all click.
I can think of a couple occurences where I have asked people this question, "Can I pray for you?" Of course, as a pastor, you might think that normal. But those that I think of now, at 1am, are people who would not otherwise give God the time of day. But a recognition of powerlessness and fear have caused them, at least for the moment, to trust that God could help them through their occurence.
Can I pray for you? My prayers are not magic. God won't listen to my prayers over any one else's just cause I am his favorite. But sometimes, I think that we might be afraid of God, and want an intermediary to be with us; to hold our hand. It doesn't matter what it is about. I would be happy to pray with you and/or for you.
My email is firstname.lastname@example.org. I can be reached via phone and in person, too.
PS -- just because you don't ask, doesn't mean I am not asking God to take care of you...