Thursday, October 6, 2011

Prayer in small groups

Prayer can be awkward
in groups, especially
small groups, especially if
you’re the prayer leader
and you listen to make
sure all requests are prayed
for and if not then you
cover them so you write
notes to yourself and
hope you can translate
“sk pa sin wed” and wonder
if it means sick parent or
sick partner or sick father
and is that sin on Wednesday
or is it since Wednesday or
since the wedding? And did
Alice ask for prayer
for better hair or better
to hear and you dig
your thumbnail into
your hand to stay awake
just as you remember
the prayer in Gethsemane
and tears of blood.

Over at Faith Barista, Bonnie Gray is asking about our thoughts on prayer. To see more posts on prayer, please visit Bonnie's site.


Maureen said...

Oh, that ending!

As a child, I was always fascinated that we would pray about what God already knew. Later, I came to understand how prayer without petitioning, as when sitting alone in the silence of a darkened church, opens the heart and fills it even as it is emptying.

S. Etole said...

Intercession is not for the faint of heart!

Brandee Shafer said...

Love it. My last small group leader used to crack us up because he had NO PROBLEM interrupting his plea to God with a question for a silent pray-er in the group: "And, God, please be with Brandee's aunt because she has cancer...Right, Brandee? (nod, nod), and she'll be seeing her doctor for a follow-up...when was that, Brandee?" Very funny. But cool. I think we take ourselves too seriously, sometimes. Not that prayer isn't serious business, but God knows our hearts and intents, and He is the author of grace.

The Wild Optimist said...

Ok, this might be my favorite post this week, because it is REAL. Thank you! Love. Every. Sentence.

Louise Gallagher said...

REal and brilliant too!

That closing -- a real closer.

Sandra Heska King said...

Love how you brought all this back to the garden.

Anonymous said...

Oh How He Loves You and Me,
Evident in the Garden of Gethsemane

Beautiful way you closed this post on prayer.

My notes are like that too! If I can't read them I tag on the ever faithful: "and Father as for the other needs mentioned here...

Glad I stopped by from the faith jam!

Lisa notes... said...

This is so true, Glynn. Our Sunday school teacher takes prayer requests around the circle each week, but never writes them down. Then he prays for each one by name and circumstance. I always wonder how he does that without forgetting anybody! Must be miraculous intervention. ;-)

Jeanne Damoff said...

Ha! Perfect. :)

Anonymous said...

holding a list
made from
surround sounds
of carried burdens
gathered and sorted
for the mystery
of the awkward delivery
called prayer

Caroline said...

Oh yes, I can relate to this post! I try to remember, and write it down as well, but still fail. Thankfully, God knows our hearts! And, wow, what a powerful reminder in that ending. Thank you, Glynn.

Anonymous said...

and so then we add
that little extra tidbit
at the end-- "Oh Lord,
if I have forgotten someone,
Thou knowest my heart and theirs,
and I pray that Thou wouldst
meet those needs,
spoken and unspoken,
in Thy infinite wisdom and might."
(Because of course the
God of Gethsemane
Hears better when we refer to Him
in King James English).

Marcus Goodyear said...

Yup. This is why I'm not very good at prayer apart from thinking about someone I love and reciting Scripture. It's not much, but it's all I've got.

Kathleen Overby said...

Marcus, I love what you got....

Glynn, sorry if this is blasphemy, but do you recall the old Dr. Demento clip...ordering at the drive through? Much static insued.....This post was neckid and we all relate with much squirming and itching. Too true stuff is the best and most satisfying to read....

Katie said...

I can see exactly what you are describing when I have prayed for our group.

Bonnie Gray said...

It's a curious work, relaying prayers -- like blowing into the incense of worship I think -- as I read your words as the prayer leader for the small group. Glynn, you're blowing the incense up to reach that throne of grace.