On Tuesday nights since the late Spring we’ve had a night of prayer and worship in the Space we meet in. Last Tuesday night I was up front leading the meeting and unfortunately had my eyes closed a lot so I heard but missed the dueling pray-ers. My oldest, Nathan, was in the back and that gave him a great seat for the show.
That night we had a first-timer come who has some mental health issues (that’s not an insult it’s just a fact and I was happy to see her). We have a regular who comes who also has some issues and the two of them know one another from a local ministry to people who have all sorts of issues.
The night started with some songs and some prayer and after 30 minutes or so we seemed to land in a place of prayer and worship where I didn’t even want to move, pray, or even breathe. This isn’t typical for me but it happened last Tuesday and I just stood there, feeling a little week in the knees and waited for something to happen with my eyes closed.
What happened was that our newcomer prayed something like, “Bless all the little kids going back to school.” And our regular quickly prayed a follow up like, “Bless all the little kids going to school AND their teachers.” There was a beat, room for a breath or two and then our newcomer (I’m keeping her name and our regular’s name out of this) prayed something like, “Watch over our soldiers in Afghanistan and bring them home safely.” And then our regular jumped on and prayed, “Watch over our soldiers and bring peace to those who are fighting all over the world.” It’s important to note that our regular with all of her own issues and having a history with our newcomer knew EXACTLY what she was doing and pushed buttons like an Abu Ghraib interrogator/torturer.
With my eyes closed I started thinking, “hmmm, that’s cool that these two ladies are so into prayer.” I was also realizing that pretty much everyone else was NOT praying and the prayers were taking us down some interesting bunny trails: “And God bless all the animals that don’t have homes and have to feed themselves.” followed by our regular praying, “And bless the animals that don’t have homes AND the animals that are mistreated by their owners.” That’s not word for word but pretty close.
With his eyes open Nathan was seeing something entirely different. Whenever our newcomer finished a prayer and our regular started to take that prayer and ammend it in some way our newcomer would turn around in her seat and glare at our regular. Nate said the looks she shot were darker and angrier with every prayer and that by the end and the way she was looking back he was just waiting for our newcomer to storm back and beat our regular senseless with her Bible! He was laughing so hard he had to take a ‘prayer walk’.
Church can be great fun!
It didn’t end in bloodshed and lots of praying got done which is never a bad thing but we will have to make some adjustments for the next round. They did NOT cover this in school