During my brief stint attending an Evangelical church and for 6 years at an Evangelical seminary, I was struck by the boldness of faith from most of the people especially their willingness to pray for others on the spot. I find that mainline Christians don’t really do this.
Last month, I was at a Synod Assembly and received a text from my wife that our son had a very high temperature. At the time I was in a group of people and excused myself to call her so that I could see how our son was doing. When I returned to the group I mentioned that he was ill and immediately a friend said, “Let’s pray for him right now.” And so we prayed.
I remember this kind of thing happening frequently at the Evangelical church and seminary, but it was odd for me to have this happen at a Lutheran gathering because Lutherans don’t really do this. You see, this friend was a former Evangelical as well and had only been a part of our Lutheran tribe for six months. She had not yet learned our subdued customs of saying that we would pray for someone else and then not really do it or forget about it. She hadn’t learned that Lutherans, even pastors, mostly keep their faith and prayers to themselves unless they’re at a prescribed time like before a meal, during a prayer service, or during the Sunday morning liturgy. Basically, she hadn’t been acculturated into the bullsh*t parts of our little Lutheran world.
After the momentary feeling of oddity from praying in the middle of a Lobby subsided, I felt blessed and hopeful that we had taken time to pray for my son. But, I also felt convicted.
I was convicted because I remembered an incident where a parishioner came into the office and asked me, “Keep my family member in your prayers.” I was thinking, we should pray right now, we should just do it. But I “chickened” out. I thought about it, I wanted to do it, but I didn’t. I had been disappointed with myself for that moment and was later convicted when someone did to me what I had wanted to do for another.
So, some things are gonna change ‘roun here and you’re encouraged to make these two steps with me.
1. When someone asks me to pray for a situation, I’m going to in turn ask that person to pray on the spot with me.
2. I’m going to ask that person later about the situation.
I know these steps seem simple, even mundane, but trust me they will make a difference in your life and the other persons. Mainline Christians are pretty good at asking for prayer from others, but we’re not good about following up on it.
Hopefully my two steps will help me Just Do It!
Do you like it when people pray for you on the spot?
Do you prayer for others not he spot? Why or why not?
Here are a some links on prayer.