Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Problem with Prayer

A few weeks ago I visited an old church of mine, I’d say I was a member there about a decade ago. I love visiting old friends, especially those who have guided me on my faith journey, but in all honesty sometimes it gets a little awkward when a defining characteristic of the relationship is hell avoidance. Here’s why…

So I walk back into this old church-building and in almost no time the correspondence secretary has found me. She needs my new email she says so that she can add me once again to the church email prayer list. Panic Strikes! I cannot be on another prayer list I scream to myself! Then again I also have too much pride to decline, I should really pray about that pride issue, but after I only if I figure out how to get out of this prayer nightmare!!!! I subtlety survey the room just to see how many people here I even know and to determine how frequently the people that I don ’t know are going to have requests.

He looks depressed about something
She is a broken hip waiting to happen
They are probably trying to get pregnant
Those four will be going off to college soon and will leave behind panicky parents.

Email lady sensed my hesitation.

I don’t send any junkmail she assured me, no jokes, no riddles, just our prayer digests, I think she gave a time-line too like “its about once a month or once a week.” It didn’t matter because I know there is no such thing as efficient prayer digests because the nature of a request is that it is new and urgent. No one says, I won’t need any divine intervention for the next 3 weeks but pencil me in for a quick one-liner around the 18th.

I can’t tell you the number of ways I’ve tried to organize my prayer life…I’ve tried “spirit-led” aka pray for one person and then fall asleep. I’ve tried day-of-the-week-prayers where Monday is family prayer day. Tuesday is work prayer day, Wednesday is church prayer day, etc. etc. I’ve tried keeping a prayer board where I pull out the names of several people from several categories of life each day until everyone is prayed for at the end of the week. And I have tried general, “protect my family, church, friends and precarious sitcom programming from all danger.” I have disappointed myself in every one of these prayer methods.

Currently these are the prayer numbers I am working with:

Family: 24

Church Family: around 60

Ministries I work with: Around 60

Friends who don’t fit in other categories: Around 30

So what is a well-meaning, Christian girl supposed to do when someone asks her to be on their prayer team? I can tell you what I wanted to do: I wanted to say no thank you I think you guys have it covered, I already have a lot of other people to pray for and unlike that show-off God, time is limited for me, you might have thought from my chaste lifestyle that I have become a nun, I assure you this is not the case though I understand the confusion. Thank you for considering me worthy of approaching God on behalf of this group but for now I’ll pass. Please don’t make me feel like I am a devil-worshipper for responding in this way. But if you do think my soul is corrupted, maybe you could add me in with all those other requests? (Flash Adorable Smile).

And I can tell you what I actually did: “Sure, of course, How can you turn down prayer opportunities, but NO jokes right? ‘Cause I hate jokes, I just want the prayer. (Flash adorable smile)

That was 5 weeks ago, I have received 26 emails. This is the problem with prayer. Has anyone out there solved this problem? Or does everyone else just have a way better relationship with JChrizzy (Jesus’ rap name) than me? LMK.


Alana said...

Give fake or old email address. Problem solved.

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