86. Prayer Request . . . or Gossip?

“I have some friends, a couple,” Stan began, “who have a tendency that really bothers me about their prayer requests.”

“What’s that?” I asked.

“They often ask for prayers for someone, but their requests are thinly-disguised  gossip.”

“Got an example?”

“Yeah,” Stan said, “just last night I got a call from the husband who said he had heard that a mutual friend was cheating on his wife and needed prayer to come to his senses.”

“I told him I would certainly be praying for the man and his marriage, but after I hung up I had a real sense of the Holy Spirit’s voice telling me that the real reason for the supposed prayer request was to spread some gossip.”

“Did you tell your friend that?” I asked.

“No, but I immediately prayed for him along with my prayers for the other person.  I prayed that he would see gossip for what it is and not try to hide it behind prayer requests.”

“Don’t you think you should say something to him directly?”

“Only if God opens that door.  In the meantime, I am leaving that in God’s hands.  He knows how to handle it a lot better than I do.”

_______________________________

A perverse man spreads strife, and a slanderer separates intimate friends.  Proverbs 16:28.

Prayer:  Lord, I know you want us to pray for one another.  I also know you do not want us to gossip about anyone.  Please help me in not mixing the two.  Help me to be only who you intend in everything, including the prayers I ask others to pray.  Please help in keeping my motives clean and righteous at all times.  Amen.

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