A dear friend asked me about the statement that people often make when in need of prayer, saying, “I covet your prayers.” Her concern was that coveting is associated with the Commandment not to covet your neighbor’s wife, or anything else your neighbor might possess.
If the Hebrew word itself was in the negative, then yes, coveting someone’s prayers might be a bad thing and we would not want to covet something that should be freely given.
I called a friend who is a Greek/Hebrew scholar and asked him. He affirmed what I had told my friend, that context usually determines the meaning of the word. The basic Hebrew word, as he explained, simply meant to have a strong desire for something. So, in a sense, you can have a strong desire for someone’s prayers for you.
However, I am in agreement with my first friend: I don’t like the phrase “covet your prayers.” Sorry, it’s just too Christianize and cheesy for me, as in: “Brother In the LORD Bob, I certainly do covet thy prayers!” (To be read with a twangy southern preacher accent). Especially given that so often it’s just for show and Jesus said something about… well, praying in a closet.
Why must we, as the body of Christ, resort to such phony expressions. Why can’t we just say, “hey, pray for me when you can.”
“Well, I hope I answered Sister Babalu’s question. You can tell I was led by the Spirit to do so, and if you are led by the Spirit, you will certainly agree with everything I write here. Remember, I consulted Brother Elliott’s expertise, and covet your praise over such an important post” (Again, to be read with southern, twangy preacher accent).