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False Altruism (Prayers)

I've seen a disturbing trend among prayer circles within the Christian Church. 

It goes something like this:

-The group leader asks if there are any prayer requests we need to be considering.

-Someone in the circle raises a hand and mentions a dear friend of theirs (whom no one else in the circle knows) who is without a job, and could we please pray for them to get a job.

-Another person in the circle raises a hand and mentions their neighbor whose mother-in-law is battling cancer. Could we please pray for her.

-Another person asks for prayer for an unspoken request.

...and on and on it goes.

There are 3 things about these prayer circles that have me concerned:

1. We have a tendency to only mention prayer requests that are not personal (to us, anyway). We are more than willing to share what is going on in someone else's life, but not vulnerable enough to share what is going on in our own lives.
(Now I realize there are a couple reasons for this. One is that it seems like other p…