When I need help (a prayer for pastors)

Help PleaseIt feels better to pray for other people,
to make a mental list of their needs,
to write down their names
in a fresh notebook,
or type them one-fingered
on my phone.

It feels better to do that,
as if You and I
might be working together,
as if my prayers
helped form
some healing balm.

I like that better.

When I need prayer myself,
I hesitate to ask,
as if vulnerability, or illness,
or even exhaustion,
counts as weakness,
even worthlessness.

When I move toward You
and ask for help,
I clothe it in the needs of others.
“Give me strength
so I may (fill-in-the-blank)
for (someone-or-other).”

But would I ever
pray so conditionally
for another soul?
It’s hard, O Lord.
It’s hard
to ask for help.

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