An IM acquaintance had “Please pray for me, I really need it” as his away message. This strikes me as a very odd request.
Why should it matter if someone else prays for you? Is God more likely to grant a request if more people pray for it? Alice only got her boyfriend to pray that she gets accepted into her first-choice college, but Bob got half his soccer team to pray that he passes the history midterm, so Bob gets his request granted? Oh, wait, Claire’s whole congregation prayed that her cancer doesn’t recur, so Bob and Alice will both have to lose out. What about poor Damien who didn’t get a single other person to pray that he gets his promotion? Surely it’s not some sort of celestial popularity contest?
Of course, it could be a way ask for emotional support, sort of a “wish me luck!” But surely if one is religious, one shouldn’t misuse prayer (or ask others to) in this manner? Shouldn’t those people be praying for important things like decreased crime, an end to war, salvation, that sort of thing? Not matters that affect just one person?