Monday, June 23, 2008

we got to pray just to make it today...

For some reason, I just have heavy stuff on my mind today. You would think my body art would be some release, but it's not -- it's actually more poetic than you can imagine.

Things bug me sometimes, and while I don't dare broach the topics person-to-person, I feel like here is one of the few places I can. I wish I had some *Statement of Sensitity Warning* that I could include here but I don't. All I have is the internal conversation -- the monologue if you will -- that eats at me in the midst of a moment.

I'm always intrigued by Christians. Being a PK, I think we have a very interesting perspective of church people. I think we get to see the really good and the really bad, and unlike people who just get to attend church, we're left to make some sense of it all. In spite of the fact that I haven't lived in a parsonage in almost 20 years, I have never been able to shake the need to justify what I see, or in some cases, find some way to express it. Prayer, is the one example that stands out in my mind today. I go to church on Sunday, and am (now) enrolled in two bible studies during the week. But the big question we always come to is -- "Do you want to pray?". There's always a dead silence and a hope (from more than one person in the room) that someone else will really feel the desire to pray. Amidst the girls group I have been apart of, as well as the other bible study, I'm always intrigued at the people who never pray out loud... because it bothers me. It bothers me that, even in the safest settings, we still feel some sense of inadequacy and lack of comfortability that prevent us from talking to the one True One who can help us. This past Sunday was another one of those times where I was struck. Our pastor asked for people who needed prayer to stand, and asked those of us to get up and pray for them. And yet... there are so many people who never got up out of the pew. I feel like now might be the time to make note that I am 1) flawed, 2)constantly in need of mercy, grace, and prayer, and 3) exactly in the same boats those people who stood up are in. I may not have felt like the particular reason the pastor asked us to stand applied to me at the moment, but I didn't really think that mattered. I also know that I have days where my prayers don't make it past my light fixtures... we all do. But, I don't ever want that to be a reason I'm too ashamed or embarassed or whatever to get up and pray for someone else, you know? I guess my only justification is that, what if I'm the one that needs prayer? Are you going to be too embarassed or busy to get up and pray for me? This definitely hinders me from asking (even some of my good friends) to pray for me because they never have. I have made a point to pray even when my words sound phony or as though they're coming out of someone else's mouth... because it's not about the words, it's about the intentions of my heart. Plus, I know that I need the Holy Spirit to be the real intercessor.

I guess this post turned into more of a challenge... to remember that it doesn't matter who you think it watching. It doesn't matter if it doesn't feel natural. Just pray. I like to say "Pray Naked" (Hebrews 4:13). Pray for your friends. Pray for them out loud. Sometimes that little bit of encouragement is what they need. And have a prayer buddy... someone you can call to stop what they're doing and pray for you.


Holly said...

You know, one of the things we work with our Christ Creations Kids on each week is praying out loud and in front of others. We try to get them into the habit of being comfortable with it. I must admit, going into ministry praying out loud was hard for me and esp. praying for those I didnt really know well it seems very normal to me. Our Sr Pastor even encourages all of the ministry leaders on this. Each week at staff meeting we pray for congregational needs, personal stuff...but instead of the pastor just leading the prayer he simply calls out the concerns we have written down and whomever feels led to pray over that particular issue speaks up. We all feel more connected that way. Then we all sit down and break up the congregation roster into small sections and each staff member teams up with another and we together for all of the members in our portion of the roster. That way, all of the congregation is prayed for each week and not just those who speak out with a need.

Anyway...didn't mean for this to be so long...but you write a really touching blog today. I am saying an extra prayer for you today just because!!

Jenn said...

I'm glad that leadership encourages prayer out loud. God doesn't require us to be Billy Graham when we pray, but we are admonished that if we don't pray, the rocks will.

That means more to me than you'll know. I'm praying for you as well!

Bitsy said...

I am one of those that does not feel comfortable praying out loud. I will pray like a mad woman, in constant contact with God, whisper prayers, etc., but outloud just gets to me for some reason.

I am getting better about it and even volunteer sometimes, but for some reason. . . don't know.

Maybe because I am so shy!! hahahahahahahahahahahaha

Jenn said...

Bitsy, I don't think of you in context to not praying because I've heard you pray, ergo, you are excluded.

Plus, I see "fruit" if you know what I mean. Love you!