Just over a year ago, Christie and I were preparing to leave the country, and had a giant, hugemongous list of things to do. It wasn’t stressful at all. One of the things on our list was to create and print some prayer cards. We feel you just can’t trust someone to pray for you, unless you have a picture on their fridge. I mean it’s natural; prayers and food go together. Seriously, if I could change two things about prayer in modern-day Christianity, here they are:
- “I’ll be praying about that.” Psha! You’re not going to be praying about that. Half the reason you say it is because you’re too embarrassed to stop right then and pray about it. And the other half is because you don’t know what to say, and “I’ll be praying about that” has a nice, churchy ring to it. Let’s have the gumption to pray about it right then and there, while our friend is spilling his guts to us and in need of help. Or let’s take this learning-to-pray-for-people thing slowly, and start with baby steps: “I will pray about that.” This implies that, at least once, you will pray about this problem. And then do it — just once, pray for that person. “I’ll be praying about that” implies a future continuous action. We’ll work up to that.
- “Let us bless the food.” Alright, so I’ve got no problems with saying prayers before meals. As long as…
- it’s not simply a tradition that means nothing.
- it’s not a rule we bind on people, as if “unblessed” food is illegal.
- we stop praying Big Macs and super-sized fries to the nourishment of our bodies.
- also, I’m not sure what it really means for us to bless the food, but I’ll admit it may be biblical, without my knowing.
So I’m making a conscious effort to pray for people WHILE I am with them. I’ve also started asking God before meals to help us live our lives as if we’re thankful — and not just tell him before we eat.
But I digress… a lot. As I was saying, Christie and I are getting around to finishing our list of things to do before we leave left the states this last March. One item on that list is was to have some prayer cards made, so people can:
- remember what we look like.
- see what Baylor looks like — who, I might add, would not have made the photo had we done this on time.
- have new coasters to keep sweat rings from ruining their good furniture.
- add to their collections of missionary trading cards. [I forgot to tell you every card comes complete with a stick of gum and our stats on the back. And this card will actually have the potential to be quite valuable, as it will be part of the 2009 Traded set that comes at the end of the year. See, it’s our rookie year, but we didn’t make the cut-off for the regular season set. I’m such a nerd. Now pass me my Beckett Missionary Card Price Guide… and my glasses.]
- have a reminder to pray for us as we seek to do God’s will in Tanzania.
My question to you is, “Which of these cards do you like the best?” We haven’t decided yet which one to print. You can also give reasons why, if you like. Or if you think there need to be changes made still, you can tell me that as well. It won’t hurt my feelings. [I’m tearing up just thinking about it…]
Your choices: card #1, LIGHT, card #2, DARK, or card #3, LIGHTER STILL.
Thanks for your help. And even more for your prayers.