This post is somewhat of a digression. But I feel it’s a worthy one. First, I have to make a confession.
Sometimes, I drift off in my prayers. I know. But I seem to get to the point where I find it incredibly hard to focus any more. It’s not that I don’t want to pray, it’s just that my mind tends to find the most complex tangents, and follow them.
Last night, at our church prayer meeting (notching up the severity of my crime), I developed a new game.
I’ve noticed that lots of people, just before they are about to pray, make a giveaway sign that their prayer is incoming. Some people give a short intake of breath. Some have a little fidget, and then pray. Some lean forward, others lean back. The more you pray with people, the more you’ll begin to notice these little quirks, and the more you’ll be able to predict, fairly accurately, when they are about to pray.
The game is simple. Intercept the prayers. When you hear or see (although your eyes should be closed) someone’s giveaway sign that an incoming prayer is imminent, start your own prayer. The further away from the person you’ve intercepted you are, the more points you get. Even more of a challenge would be trying to prayer intercept everyone in your group at least once. This is tricky, because you will not only be intercepting, but you will also be praying a lot more than anyone else. The secret, I think, is to do it over the whole prayer session. To carry out a series of six prayer intercepts all at once would be risking being caught.
This is probably a game best road-tested first with a group of people who won’t mind if they find out. Those who you know will find it funny. Not those who look angry when they pray.
So that’s prayer interception. Any reported intercepts would be wonderful to hear. But I take no responsibility for any side-effects of this game.
(I must at this point say that I understand that prayer is a massively important part of our faith, and must not be made light of. Too much. And if anything, this game at least encourages people to pray…even if it is at the expense of someone else.)