Pastor’s Public Prayers
I decided after working out and getting my circulation pumping; I was ready for a spiritual uplifting. I selected this particular online service, because there is so much power in their services. This is not to say other online services aren’t as powerful, but this is where I attended services before the pandemic. At this particular church the praise brings about a great spiritual revitalization, which seems to remain long after leaving the building. This powerful spiritual lingering doesn’t just occur, for me, among the presence of the saints, but also while watching online.
Anyway, I was all into the thankfulness prayer, along with the Pastor. He said, “Thank God I’m not in the hospital…not on an oxygen tank…not in a wheelchair…” (or something to that effect). And that last part is where I got stuck. I too am grateful for not being in the hospital, or that I’m not toting an oxygen tank, but I couldn’t agree with him about not being in a wheelchair, because I AM in a wheelchair. His words lingered in my mind. Or as some would say, I was all in my feelins. Aaand yeahya…I was…I had lost all focus and concentration. Most likely because I was feeling another blog coming on.
I kept trying to shake it, because I know everyone’s prayer is their own personal connection. So, I get it. But I began visualizing how, prior to the pandemic, Pastor had a bus load of people who used various types of wheelchairs attending his services, being dropped off, and picked up, faithfully. I know this because we all—looked like about a whole 20 of us—sat bunched up in the same section. We sat near the front of the stage, which was a blessing, because other public places like to stick the people who rely on wheelchairs way in the back, where we can barely see. And it only gets worse when the congregation/audience is asked to stand. Okay…I digress.
Funny thing is, I do not recall Pastor ever praying about being grateful for not being in a wheelchair when we were physically in the building, but then, maybe it was because there were others appointed to pray during those services.
Perhaps there was no one in a wheelchair on this particular day, and since the Pastor cannot see those of us watching online, he didn’t feel the need to refrain from saying such politically incorrect things. I am positive that he thought nothing of it, because he is the type to apologize publicly, if he even wrongs someone privately. I witnessed it myself. Perhaps, if he reads this, he’d make amends with future prayers.
I know we’re all usually grateful for not being in some other person’s, less fortunate predicament, but should this be politically incorrect for public figures to say out loud? How far should such prayers go? What if a man publicly prayed thankfulness for not being a woman and vice versa? What if a Black person publicly prayed that they’re grateful for not being white or vice versa?
The following type of people are usually present among a congregation, when prayers of thankfulness are being spoken: various ethnicities, colors and religions, obvious and not so obvious disabilities, LGBTQ+, single and married, uneducated, tall, short, overweight, pregnant, infertile, victims of abuse, abusers, poor, homeless…The list is endless, but I’m sure you get where I’m going with this. Yet, I’ve never heard any of these types mentioned publicly as reasons to be grateful to not be them.
I cannot stress it enough that I am aware we all have our own personal reasons to be grateful, which is why we pray accordingly, but high-profile public figures, or anyone praying in public, should be more cognizant of their words, especially since it causes people to break their concentration on praying. And who’s to say based on an individual’s mindset, it could even change their positive outlook on men of God, or worse, their disbelief in a Higher Power.
I’m sure I’m not the only one who has noticed this. But someone needed to mention it, and it may as well be me. Let’s take this even further. If I prayed publicly, knowing that there are people less fortunate, or who have issues, (which is everyone) and I am not sure who is present, then my goal will be to say something that will make the prayer all inclusive. So, let’s just pretend that the entire congregation had obvious disabilities—walks with a limp, uses a wheelchair (manual or battery operated), crutches, canes, walkers, walking sticks, shopping carts, wagons, gurnies, etc. My prayer will go something like this:
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for our various mobility devices! For without it none of us would be able to attend church services today, or any day, be it in a building or just sitting in our living rooms, or anywhere within our homes, for that matter. I’m grateful that You’ve allowed what was once called the “invalid’s chair” to be invented in 1595 for King Phillip II of Spain, and that it has been continuously improved upon to this day, to create various types, because, God we never know when anyone, at any time, due to any circumstances could be next to be required to use a wheelchair, or any type of mobility device. And because their sizes and mixed needs are all different you’ve already put geniuses in place so that they’d know how to re-create the wheelchair, and any other mobility devices, in order to accommodate the various needs. There are still so many, if not today then perhaps tomorrow, who may need to use such great inventions, so that they too may be allowed to maintain their independence, and travel freely throughout Your beautifully created land. God, there are so many things that I am grateful for daily. I don’t know what else any of us will need eventually, but I’m confident that if we don’t require use of it now, it will be readily available and/or newly developed when we do need it, because You already know what any of us are going to need on any given day, way before we do. And this I pray in Jesus’ name, amen!
I love ya, Pastor because you live your faith authentically, and it’s obvious you have a powerful anointing on ya. By the way, I like how, nearing the end of service, where there was a person being defibrillated on the screen behind you, it coincided nicely with your message, that many of us are going to a higher level in our lives, and need a super natural recharge for an up lifting. These are the types of effective visuals which are great for enhancing a spirit filled worship. And it works well!
Please note: If you and anyone who prays publicly should read this, I pray that this blog expands your mind and allow you to go to a higher level by way of being more cognizant, so that public prayer will no longer create a personal problem for certain type of individuals. I’m positive Pastor will understand this because I believe I’ve heard him once say that regardless of where we are in life, there is always room for improvements! Or, something like that.
I hope this can become a wakeup call to many more who appreciate expanding their wisdom/knowledge about topics not discussed enough! God bless and enjoy this beautiful blessed new day.