Saying “A Prayer”

Dedicated to gossips in mid-week prayer meetings everywhere.

Do you have a bit of gossip?
Say a prayer.
Have Joneses had a toss up?
Say a prayer.
Say it loudly in a meeting
Tell them all who has been cheating
And about the wife he’s beating
Say a prayer.

Is your story nice and juicy?
Say a prayer.
Is your neighbor loosey goosey?
Say a prayer.
Wear a most self-righteous look
Name the names of who partook
No, don’t write it in a book!
Say a prayer.

Finding sin within your campers?
Say a prayer.
Know who church revival dampers?
Say a prayer.
…or if you are not a man
At request time raise a hand
And we’ll find someone who can
Say a prayer.

55 thoughts on “Saying “A Prayer””

  1. Wow, got lucky that time!

    Anyhoo, yes, I have seen that kind of “prayer”. Between that and the “prayers prayed *at* someone instead of *for* someone, I tend to bristle when someone says “I’ll pray for you”.

      1. No, it can’t be that one; the meter is entirely different. I think the person who suggested “If you’re happy and you know it” is correct.

  2. love this! I just want to pray, today Lord, for Darrell. Lord, I just want to ask you to bless him, Lord. And Lord, we just ask you to be with all the requests today, Lord…..

    1. D’ya remember how in speech class they said punctuating your speech with “uhs” and such was tantamount to a cardinal sin? And yet, no one EVER mentioned that punctuating your prayers with nonstop “Lords” was the same darn thing!

        1. Actually, I think our speech teacher DID talk about that. And I think it was addressed in our Study of Prayer class. It annoys me to no end when I hear people’s thoughtless words, but I have to realize it’s nerves or ignorance or both.

      1. Yes, I definitely remember speech class (I did actually like the girls’s speech teacher. Totally different thread about why the speech classes were separated) We used to sit in Philosophy of Education and keep tally marks of how many times the teacher said “and, uh”. “Come on, let’s see if we can get 50! Only 3 more to go!!” It was the only thing that kept us awake at 7:30 on a Friday morning.

        1. I had Mr. Crego. I actually did like having a girls-only class if only because I suffer from borderline-pathological shyness. It made it a little easier to get up there and not throw up on people.

          The worse experience I had was having to go up against Becky Voegtlin in debate. Blah.

          And yeah, just tended to go hand-in-hand with Lord. Lord, wejus, Lord, youjus, Lord, theyjus … It’s like they were conjugating all up in their prayers.

        2. I remember my college speech class being all guys and appreciating it for the same reasons. Of course, almost all my classes we’re 100% male – at the engineering school I was at the overall ratio of guys to girls was 7:1.

        3. Something tells me I’d be more comfortable in that speech class, too, than a speech class full of fundy preacher boys. :) If you’ve never been in a room full of them, you’ve no idea how full of themselves (i.e., obnoxiously boorish, pompous, sexist and overbearing) they can be.

        4. @PP: I had Mrs. Rinehart. At the time, I was glad the classes were separated, too. But I wondered even then if it was because the girls weren’t supposed to be speaking in front of guys. After all, we did give informative and demonstrative speeches. We’re not supposed to teach men, Haymen? And how could we debate a guy and win? That surely must go against the Fundy code. So yeah, I was happy about it then, but I still question their motives. (And I debated against Debbie Voegtlin. I’m sure she won :roll: )

      2. Actually, I did hear someone (not a fundy preacher!) speak once about how, quite frankly, we should put in a little thought as we go in prayers to avoid the constant “and Father…”s or “Lord”s! Methinks they just heard it one too many times…

  3. If you’re really committed, you take notes. It’s even better when the church secretary takes notes and prints up alllllll the prayer requests (including special sections for unspokens, special unspokens and VS unspokens)and distributes them at the next prayer meeting so that we can be reminded of everyone’s peccadilloes every Wednesday evening and update them with new ones or scratch off those we no longer need (*cough*)

  4. Persnickety, in additions to voluminous references to “Lord” in our prayers, don’t forget the word “just” that just about begins and ends each sentence so God will just hear our prayers and just do something just so we can just start using the word “Lord,” again. Just so you know…BTW: Darrell, this post was great! As a recovering pastor, I was also guilty of allowing “prayer request” time to devolve into a plaintive, whine-fest wherein folks got a few minutes of attention with no attending expectation that God heard their prayer or was going to asnwer it. Powerless prayers begin in the pulpit cuz the preachers themselves are locked in a prayer rut. After I studied prayers in the Bible, specifically Paul’s prayers for the Ephesians, I guit focusing on aches and pains, and began looking at the things God paid attention to in the Bible. All things are become new should characterize the prayer life too!

  5. Had totally forgotten about those “unspoken” prayer requests and how irritating they were when I was like 12 or 13 and I just had to KNOW what was so BAD it dared not speak its name in church!

  6. Just for fun (and for the same reasons people stare at a train wreck), I watched a “Camp Meet’n” online last night that many people from my fundie church went to every year. They were trying to raise $700 and a man just stands up at random in the congregation and starts praying something like this:

    Our heavenly father, Gawd I pray that you will take care of the need in this room here tonight Lawd! You know that many of us rolled in here with $20 in our pockets and a gas tank full of fumes, but Gawd I pray tonight that you will use your people to take care of this need… …Laaawd I pray that you would give those who give tonight a triple blessing, and to those that are being stingy with your money, Lawd I pray tongiht you give them a triple dose of your chastisement…. … Amen and Amen!

    1. Chastise people for being “stingy” with the implication that even if you only have gas fumes in your car’s tank, you should still be faithful? :( That’s not the Good News.

    1. Well, I did a post late last night so I wanted to give everybody a chance to engage with it before I put up something for today.

      Besides, poetry posts usually don’t get very big traffic anyway. :)

  7. I’m grateful we only do prayer requests in our Sunday school class. We both update people on things that have been going on and ask for prayers for issues. But our class is close knit and we don’t use it as a time for gossip.

  8. We were told at college that our proper response to gossip should be to tell the person, “If it’s gossip, I don’t want to hear it.”

    I had a friend who would say, “Is it gossip?” “Please!” “Don’t.” “Stop.” “Please, don’t stop.” :mrgreen:

    Same friend would say, “If it’s gossip, I want to hear it.”

    What made it “funny” was that her dad was the college president who had given us the instruction in the first place.

    1. “If you can’t say something good about someone, sit right here by me.” — Alice Roosevelt Longworth :mrgreen:

  9. My first thought when I saw the picture was that this post would have something to do with the sin of raising hands during the service. :neutral:

    1. We could raise hands for prayer requests, for signifying if we would be attending a special event or inviting people to said event, or, certainly, for responding to an invitation, but never during singing as part of worship.

      I’m working on it now because I like to feel that I am free, but it’s hard to break a life-long habit of standing stock-still in church.

      1. At Bob Gray, Sr (TX) church, he made people stand up or raise their hands if they were going to attend the church soul-winning… and then berated those that didn’t so indicate.

  10. “Finding sin within your campers”

    Many years ago when I worked a summer at Fundy Camp, there was master list posted in the staff list of all the campers. The counselors would find out all the campers sins the first day or two and then mark them in a code, and they were all compiled on this master list for the staff to “pray for throughout the week.” I’m curious if they still do this.

    For example Jane Doe might have next to her name M, D, F, P. This would roughly mean she listened to bad music, dressed immodestly, had worldly friends, and was proud.

    1. Ah I remember hearing that the youth pastors at the BRR had to fill out surveys about their teens problems sometimes. Mine was always pride because my youth pastor told me that even though I followed all the rules externally I still needed to go forward during the invitation sometimes but I never did.

      1. It never was, no matter what they said, just between you and the Lord, was it? Sad to think they were keeping track of such things. Makes you wonder if there were secret charts:

        Student goes forward once a year — possibly cold toward the things of the Lord, watch carefully

        Student responds once every few months — this student is receptive to the preaching of the Word

        Student goes forward every single time — this student just wants attention; tell them to cut it out.

        Student never goes forward — must be hiding serious sin; exhort student to get heart right and humble themselves before the Lord and the entire student body

  11. Okay folks, time for a round of . . . The Craziest Prayer Request You Ever Heard. And I don’t care if it’s true or not (since how many of the actual prayer requests we heard in fundie-land were true.) And please, please don’t bring up the “young man asked for prayer to stop masturbating” story because that’s just gross.

    1. I’ll start. This one is true but happened in a Southern Baptist Church. We had this really charismatic lady (who later left to become a “praise dancer” at a local AG church . . . all 400 pounds of her) who believed that she had the gift of prophecy and would ask prayer for other people in the church to be filled with the holy spirit.

    2. Brethren fundy, not IFB fundy: a woman prayed for her sister’s rape. I was shocked she would betray her sister’s privacy over such a matter. Turned out she didn’t believe her sister was telling the truth, so that made it ok to spread the goss :evil:

  12. In my Pentefundy years, I heard of “confession services” when tearful sinners would stand and bare all. One quote from an A/G college: “I want to confess that I’ve been having s– with that man right THERE!” Wooooo. Now that’s a might move of the Spidit.

  13. “Please pray for my husband/wife that our marriage relations would be better”

    That is seriously Too Much Information (TMI).

  14. Does that woman’s hand have a ring on the thumb?? That’s countercultural. She’s probably even wearing pants…

    I’ll say a prayer for her.

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