Unspoken prayer requests are a staple of any fundamentalist prayer meeting. Far from being a simple acknowledgment of an private and personal need, “unspokens” have a variety of classifications.
The All Inclusive This is the most common form of the unspoken request. This call for a show of hands often comes at the end of time for spoken prayer requests, but can also come at any time before someone prays. (Bro. Dwight will now bless the food, are there any unspoken prayer requests out there?) If a person can’t think of a specific unspoken request it’s best just to raise a hand anyway in case they think of one later that they needed covered. This call for unspoken requests may also be accompanied by calls for responses from anyone who has unsaved loved ones, knows someone sick, is wearing a red sweater, etc.
The Guessing Game These are unsolicited unspoken requests given in midst of a call for prayer requests. They are often stated in the form of “I have a very special and important unspoken request.” The game for the audience is to try to guess what the person’s unspoken request might be by counting the number of adjectives used to describe it. Bonus points are awarded to the person with the most creative answer in the after-church unspoken request phone chain.
The Spoken Unspoken There are also the quasi-unspoken requests which go something like “I have an unspoken request that I really can’t talk about that involves my sister. I can’t say a lot but her marriage is having some trouble…and without giving a lot of details there’s also a Bolivan chef named Roberto involved and his three adopted kids and their second grade teacher.” The air is filled with the sound of pencils scribbling furiously on prayer request sheets around the room. Who knew that the unspoken could say so much?
(thanks to mark for the unspoken suggestion)