Christian Probs: When You Promise To Pray and Totally Forget

I always have the holiest, most noble, most compassionate of intentions.

“Hey man, could you pray for me. I’m just going through this really difficult situation right now.”

I promise to pray. Of course, I’ll pray. I will beseech heaven on their behalf. I will become a ferocious prayer warrior, entering the secret place to call down blessings upon their head.

My intensity of prayer will make George Mueller look like a godless pagan. I will make Elijah’s 3-year drought thing look like child’s play. Yes, I am an ordinary man, but I will soon be transformed into…

[insert building crescendo with particular emphases on the timpani drums]

…Captain Prayer, leaping prayer requests in a single intercessory session!

Look out prayer closet, look out devil, look out world, here I come. I am putting all of you on notice. I don’t really know what it means to put someone on notice, but it sounds good, so I do it.

But then this weird thing happens. The moment I bid them farewell, my brain betrays me. It’s like that memory sweep in Men In Black. I completely and utterly forget everything, as if the conversation never happened. It’s like a momentary glitch in The Matrix, where a moment is actually erased out of time.

Throughout the week, I will have vague reminders of needing to pray, but they quickly desert me, similar to Joel Osteen verging close to a doctrinally sound statement. I think to myself, I was supposed to pray for something, but then the moment passes.

Then comes the moment of reckoning.

I see that person again, usually at church, approaching me from a distance. Suddenly, everything comes rushing back into my brain at once, like the Red Sea coming over the Egyptians, but with less death and all the screaming happening only in my mind.

At once, I’m praying every prayer possible simultaneously. I am a whirlwind of prayer, uttering the Our Father, Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep, the Serenity Prayer, and 24 others at the same time. It’s like speed dating, but praying, which doesn’t work as an analogy at all, but does give you a feel for the activity occurring within my soul.

I approach them with a large smile on my face. I place my hand reassuringly on their shoulder and give them a long, searching gaze.

“How are you? I’ve been praying for you!”

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Stephen Altrogge

I'm a husband, dad, writer, & Mixed Martial Arts Salsa Dancing Champion. I created The Blazing Center. I've also written some books which people seem to like. You can follow me on Twitter and Facebook