For Whom We Pray

As I was thinking about prayer, it came to mind who we include in prayer.  Often it is for a loved one, someone we know personally or someone we have been asked to pray for by a mutual friend. At times we know details of the prayer request but often the request is for an undisclosed or unknown reason. Other times, it is for those we do not know at all; people in our community who are suffering in some way, people in other parts of the country or world who are suffering or in need. We pray for our country, our leaders, peace, prosperity, health, relationships, careers, guidance, thanksgiving, gratitude, affirmation, the list is varied and changes as we change and the needs change. 
What I find most interesting is that often we don’t include ourselves in these prayers. We are so good and faithful to affirm and pray for others, to acknowledge their needs and suffering, but often not so much for ourselves. As I was thinking on this, one thought was that we are taught not to need, not to ask, not to complain, not to be selfish, basically not to acknowledge our own feelings or needs and to be self-sufficient and independent. However; I feel that we are doing great disservice, not only to ourselves, but also to others in this practice. We are breaking the chain of connection we are so eager to build by not participating in this process of requesting prayer for ourselves.
This is also true when we don’t include ourselves in our own prayers. I was reminded many years ago that when I don’t participate in the “receiving” part of giving, I rob others of a blessing as well as myself. Our needs and desires are worthy. We can be in service to others and also make requests for ourselves. 
I hope you’ll include your personal prayer request the next time you visit our Prayer Chest.