16 August, 2008

Lift This Song Up As Your Prayer

Daleside Baptist Church
August 13, 2008, 7:00pm
Wednesday Evening Prayer Services

[Pastor Johnson walks forward to the Pulpit]

Pastor Johnson: “Folks, I want to welcome you tonight to our Wednesday Night prayer service. Tonight, we are dedicating the entire service to prayer. Afterwards, I want to invite you to the Fellowship Center for a meal. I’ll now turn this prayer service over to the Deacons. Deacon Williams.”

[Pastor Johnson returns to the front pew]
[Head Deacon Williams approaches the microphone]


Head Deacon Williams: [praying gently] “Let us pray. I pray to Thee. I pray to Thee. O Lord. I pray to Thee. I pray to Thee. I pray to Thee, O Lord. For Thou are high above all the earth. Thou art worthy to be prayed to over all gods. For Thou, O Lord, art deserving of our prayer. Thou art worthy to be prayed to over all gods. I pray to Thee. I pray to Thee. O Lord. I pray to Thee. I’d just like to pray to Thee. I’d just like to pray to Thee O Lord. Just pray to Thee. O Lord. Just pray to Thee. I pray to Thee. I pray to Thee, O Lord. For Thou are high above all the earth. Thou art worthy to be prayed to over all gods. For Thou, O Lord, art deserving of our prayer. Thou art worthy to be prayed to over all gods. I pray to Thee. I pray to Thee. O Lord. I pray to Thee. I pray to Thee. I pray to Thee O Lord. I pray to Thee. I pray to Thee. O Lord. I pray to Thee. I pray to Thee. I pray to Thee O Lord. I pray to Thee. I pray to Thee. O Lord. I pray to Thee. I pray to Thee. I pray to Thee O Lord. I pray to Thee. I pray to Thee. O Lord. I pray to Thee. I pray to Thee. I pray to Thee O Lord…. Engiesname. Amen.”

[several audible “Amen” voices heard around the church]
[Head Deacon Williams takes his seat]
[Deacon Gephard approaches the microphone]


Deacon Gephard: [praying gently] “Let us pray. I will pray to you with all of my heart. I will pray to you with all of my mind. I will pray to you with all of my strength. For you are my Lord. You are my Lord. More love. More power. More of you in my life. I will pray to you with all of my heart. I will pray to you with all of my mind. I will pray to you with all of my strength. For you are my Lord. You are my Lord. More love. More power. More of you in my life. I will pray to you with all of my heart. I will pray to you with all of my mind. I will pray to you with all of my strength. For you are my Lord. You are my Lord. More love. More power. More of you in my life. I will pray to you with all of my heart. I will pray to you with all of my mind. I will pray to you with all of my strength. For you are my Lord. You are my Lord. More love. More power. More of you in my life. I will pray to you with all of my heart. I will pray to you with all of my mind. I will pray to you with all of my strength. For you are my Lord. You are my Lord. More love. More power. More of you in my life. I will pray to you with all of my heart. I will pray to you with all of my mind. I will pray to you with all of my strength. For you are my Lord. You are my Lord. More love. More power. More of you in my life…. Engiesname. Amen.”

[several audible “Amen” voices heard around the church]
[Deacon Gephard returns to his pew]
[Sister Owensby approaches the microphone]


Sister Owensby: [praying gently] “Let us pray. I’m trading my sorrow. I’m trading my shame. I’m laying it down for the joy of the Lord. I'll pray yes Lord yes Lord yes yes Lord. Yes Lord yes Lord yes yes Lord. Yes Lord yes Lord yes yes Lord Amen...

[several audible "Amen" voices heard throughout the church]

...Um… as I was saying … I’ll pray yes Lord yes Lord yes yes Lord. Yes Lord yes Lord yes yes Lord. Yes Lord yes Lord yes yes Lord Amen I’ll say yes Lord yes Lord yes yes Lord. Yes Lord yes Lord yes yes Lord. Yes Lord yes Lord yes yes Lord Amen. I’m trading my sickness. I’m trading my pain. I’m laying it down for the joy of the Lord. I’ll pray yes Lord yes Lord yes yes Lord. Yes Lord yes Lord yes yes Lord. Yes Lord yes Lord yes yes Lord Amen. I’ll pray yes Lord yes Lord yes yes Lord. Yes Lord yes Lord yes yes Lord. Yes Lord yes Lord yes yes Lord Amen. I’ll pray yes Lord yes Lord yes yes Lord. Yes Lord yes Lord yes yes Lord. Yes Lord yes Lord yes yes Lord Amen. I’ll pray yes Lord yes Lord yes yes Lord. Yes Lord yes Lord yes yes Lord. Yes Lord yes Lord yes yes Lord Amen. I’ll pray yes Lord yes Lord yes yes Lord. Yes Lord yes Lord yes yes Lord. Yes Lord yes Lord yes yes Lord Amen. I’ll pray yes Lord yes Lord yes yes Lord. Yes Lord yes Lord yes yes Lord. Yes Lord yes Lord yes yes Lord Amen. I’ll pray yes Lord yes Lord yes yes Lord. Yes Lord yes Lord yes yes Lord. Yes Lord yes Lord yes yes Lord…….Engiesname. Amen.”

[a few audible “Amen” voices heard around the church]
[Sister Owensby returns to her pew]
[Brother Steve approaches the microphone]


Brother Steve: “Now, before we go, will you please rise for a closing chorus of the first 5 words of ‘This Little Light of Mine.”

[Everyone singing] “This…. Little…. Light…. Of…. Mine”

Brother Steve: “Everyone is now invited to the Fellowship Center where we will be serving a meal that all stomachs can handle. Grab your favorite jar of food in the cabinet as you walk towards the Fellowship Center. We have strained peas and carrots as well as applesauce. Raise your hand after you have been seated and a Deacon will be there shortly to place on your bib, fill your sippy cup with milk, and hand you a rubberized safety spoon.”

11 comments:

Darrin said...

Really good one, brother Carlos. Even though the last paragraph is about baby food, I'd much rather here that than the prayers - at least the sentences were complete, meaningful, etc. Afraid that often we may indeed show more respect for the intelligence of our hearers during announcements than our Hearer during worship.

MarieP said...

WAIT! They didn't bless the food!!! How about the "Johnny Appleseed" song?

"Oh, the Lord's been good to me! And so I thank the Lord for giving me the things I need, the sun and the rain and the appleseed! The Lord's been good to me! Amen!"

Scary thing is, that had more content than those other songs :-o

MarieP said...

Darrin said:

"Afraid that often we may indeed show more respect for the intelligence of our hearers during announcements than our Hearer during worship."

AMEN!

Andrew said...

Almost as much repetition in those prayers as you would hear in a Todd Bentley revival...

madisel said...

Wow. Great poke at vain repetitions, ignoring the fact that you equate praise/worship music with prayer, which are two completely different aspects of worship.

How about a poke at the other ditch, where Pharisee wannabes layer up long, superfluous, "holy" words (mostly adjectives that nobody would ever use in normal conversation) to demonstrate how "mature" they are?

Brother Slawson said...

Madisel,

Your Pharisee-prayer-heavy-on-the-adjectives would be a funny one.

I have to admit that I never know if a prayer or praise song involves vain repetition. But I know when it involves repetition. The "vain" aspect is up to the singer.

The idea of equating praise/worship music with prayer was the idea that sparked the satire. I don't know how many times I've heard music leaders tell me to lift up a song as a prayer. So... I imagined lifting up the songs we sing as prayers.

I ended up choosing songs where the singer seems to spend most of the song explaining that he is worshipping or that he will worship in the future... rather than (what would seem to be) words of actual worship.

For some reason, those ideas seemed to spark ideas from Hebrews 5 and 6 along the lines of: "by this time, you should be teachers...but you are still drinking milk"... and that led to many other tangents.

madisel said...

I appreciate the thought-tracking explanation - and yes, I do get the humor.

It's funny (curious) how what hits our funny (ha-ha) bone about the "holy things" and the people who handle them (ESPECIALLY the people who handle them) inevitably hits somebody else's "serious bone."

Keep provoking!

Lorikate said...

I don't think I've laughed this hard for a while. A friend of mine (and Todd Bentley supporter)asked me to watch an entire episode of the "revival", so I could really see what God was doing. SO I complied with request, just to be fair - and after about 2+ hours of "worship", I had a headache. The vain repetition was driving me crazy. My 7 year old son even noticed it and begged me to stop. So this really hits home for me! Thank you for the intelligent humor!!!

Peter Kirk said...

But try the same with some of your favourite "hymns", which are often not addressed to God at all. For example, what would "And Can It Be" sound like if lifted up as a prayer? I think the pastor might ask the deacon to stop preaching!

Darrin said...

Peter, you just don't like "And Can It Be" cause it's the most Calvinist thing any of the Wesley's ever wrote! (Kidding with you, friend.)

Jonathan said...

Good Gravy!! That's beautiful!

I can't tell you how many times i've 'explained' till i'm blue in the face that singing about worship is not the same as worshipping!

I especially love the song that says 'the heart of worship...it's all about you' - when the rest of the song is 'all about me' and what I'm going to do.

Keep up the good work - you're a master!

Jonathan