As a young mom, I was in a small group ladies’ Bible study. One day I shared a concern about my little boy. I was discouraged and fearful about some patterns I saw forming in him, and I just wanted my sisters to pray for me.

But these ladies wanted to advise more than they wanted to pray. I felt like I had bumped a button which caused the bookcases in the room to swivel and create a counseling office. Most of the women in my group had both children and grandchildren, and so between them, they had a lot of experience with little boys. Which would have been great if they hadn’t all been sharing horror stories which each started out with an uncanny resemblance to my story.

I left that day feeling more discouraged and fearful than before. And while I understood that these women were trying to show their care and concern, their alarmed expressions and stories only deflated my sense of hope.

What I really craved was having a few friends help me lug my burden over to lay at the foot of the cross. I wanted someone to pray, “Lord, we don’t know what the future holds, but we know that you will be just as present and just as powerful in that future as you are today.” I wanted someone to remind me that God asks each of us to lay our children, like Isaac, on the altar. Though I couldn’t have articulated it on that day, what I most needed was for my friends to refresh my faith.

Has somebody asked you to pray for them? Have they shared a concern with you? Then, you have an opportunity. Not to sound an alarm, or share advice. You have the chance to help that person lug her burden over to the foot of the cross. You get to help refresh her faith.

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