I have a question. It’s about all this worship and prayer and gratitude stuff. You see the more I get to know you, the more questions I seem to have. Not of you, but of how we seem to treat you.
Because there was a prayer morning last weekend.
Three hours of taking it in turns to pray for the organisation I volunteer for. It’s one of your clubs, you know what I mean – we do this “kingdom work” stuff. It runs on a shoestring, has loads of obstacles, is meant to be supported by the local churches (but they are not really that keen), stuff is always breaking down, money is always in short supply, there never seem to be enough volunteers … the usual really.
So they organised a prayer morning. Forget the bit about me being miffed because I thought it was a training day – except when I turned up I found that had been cancelled and the prayer stuff was instead of the training. I know … I was a bit grumpy and walked out in a huff. But forget that for now …
This prayer morning puzzled me.
Because if you are who I think you are …
Why does a bunch of people all asking the same thing over and over make you listen any better? Is this prayer stuff like a bazaar – everyone shouting to be heard – everyone trying to attract your attention – everyone shouting louder and longer just to be heard. Is that what this prayer stuff is all about?
If you are “Love” … perfect Love … pure Love … without a smidgeon of badness …
How does repeating the same things over and over make you say yes? How does that make you hear any better? Why should it stand any better chance of making you say okay? Do you really work that way?
Because if you are who we all say you are – then we don’t need to shout – we don’t need to gang up on you – we don’t need to get you to change your mind – to say “okay” to the list of “please will you do this or that or the other.” Because everyone says that you answer every prayer. Just not in ways we might even – or ever – understand.
And then when you and me chat away together … you tell me stuff …. you guide me with stuff … you show me stuff … you help me. Sometimes just by saying nothing at all. In fact quite often by saying nothing at all.
I have never got the impression I can get you to say yes by just repeating myself over and over again. And it seems odd to me – I see people who say that, and then see them joining in a prayer mob (sorry … a prayer morning) for this organisation.
And then I see the same thing over and over – a day of prayer for this or that, admired prayer warriors, world prayer day, I will pray for you offers, prayer lists, prayer circles, please all pray for … The list goes on and on (and on).
So this is my question. Do you listen better if I get a bunch of us to keep on and on at you? And if it works that way … Why?
Love you –