Spirituality Magazine

Super Awesome Prayer Host

By Shrinkingthecamel

Super Awesome Prayer HostPrayer is one of those elusive spiritual concepts that everyone is still trying to figure out, I think.

I make an effort to pray frequently, even at work, but am often left with the sense that I am not doing it right. I generally assume that others are doing a better job than me.

I take comfort in the hope that I am not alone in this feeling. In fact, while observing many public prayers over the years, I have collected quite a range of prayer faux pas, reminding us that we are all bungling through this thing together.

For instance, I recently I attended a contemporary church service (or, I should say, a traditional church pretending to attempt a contemporary service) where at a certain point one of the leaders, a layperson, walked up and down the aisle between the pews with a microphone, taking requests prior to leading the congregation in prayer.

The longer he held that microphone, the more he believed that he had missed his calling as a talk show host.

It started rather routinely: “Who has a prayer request? You? In the back?” Charlie rushed down the aisle to hand the microphone to the congregant, a distinguished gentleman in a Brooks Brothers jacket.

“Yes, please pray for my Uncle Phil, who is undergoing surgery tomorrow.”

“Great. Uncle Phil. We’ll lift him up to the Lord. Who else? Come on, don’t be shy!”

Charlie was just warming up, as he strode deftly back around to the front pews.

“Yes, young lady?” Charlie reached across the long pew to a middle-aged woman who squeezed over several people to the mike.

“Just wanted to thank God for bringing my son safely back from Iraq,” she gushed. People clapped.

“Excellent! Wonderful!” You could tell Charlie truly enjoyed being in the spotlight. But he wanted more prayers.

The woman behind her, an uninhibited visitor who was clearly unfamiliar with this unfolding situation, stood up and reached out excitedly for the microphone. Charlie quickly rushed to her side.

“I’d just like to give a shout-out to my brother and his wife, who are leaving for Cancun today!” she squealed loudly into the mike, while rotating her body to get a good 360 degree view of the sanctuary. “Can you believe it? Those lucky dogs!”

“Excellent! Let’s pray that they have safe travels.” She sat back down and slapped her companion several times on the knee, in a jittery twitch.

Another hand in the left rear was raised for his attention. Charlie picked up the pace. “Yes, Don. What is it?” The mike was passed to the center of the pew.

“My brother passed away on Tuesday,” Don said in a grave tone.

“Great!” Charlie said enthusiastically as the microphone came back. “Don’s brother passed away. Excellent!”

I don’t think Don would have agreed that his brother’s passing was great, or excellent. But Charlie had the mike, and that’s how the prayer request went down.

I felt bad for Don, so I said a special prayer for him.

Thanks to Nance Marie for the photo.

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