Prayer Time: Get A Pencil

Our assistant pastor has our congregation well trained. For years he has had the unenviable task of making announcements and promoting programs at the most incommunicable times: at the start of a service, just before a meal, or as we’re loading the bus. Our people just aren’t ready to listen at those times.

But I wonder if the reason they aren’t prepared to listen is because they know they will get a repeat of those same announcements during his next prayer. Take last Sunday’s invocation, for example:

“Dear Lord, we thank thee for our fine Sunday school attendance of 274 on this, the first week in our growth campaign, even though we have seven families on vacation and four members hospitalized, as noted in the back of your, uh, our bulletin. We ask your blessings on this service, and on our stewardship banquet this evening at 6 P.M. in the fellowship hall, 5:30 for those bringing cupcakes. What a joy it is to be here on this last Sunday before Millie and I leave on vacation to visit her sister and brother-in-law in Buffalo next week. Give us traveling mercies so that we may return to regular office hours next Wednesday at 9 A.M., and guide Brother Smith as he leads my Tuesday night Bible study at the regular time in room 102. Now give us all willing ears to hear the pastor’s message this morning, and to take notes, if we feel led, with the paper and pencils provided in the pews in front of us. Amen.”

Like I said, the pastor has the congregation well trained. They know that when someone is “praying,” that is the time to listen to announcements and critique the speaker.

Did I say “well trained”? Let’s say “trained.”


Us Against Them

In sharp, quick strokes Vernon Grounds [“A Call to Respect God’s ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Have something to add about this? See something we missed? Share your feedback here.

Our digital archives are a work in progress. Let us know if corrections need to be made.