We’ve Got to Pray Just to Make it Today

hammer-timeI remember the MC Hammer days.  The early days of rap on the radio…

The first time I heard “Pray” and “U Can’t Touch This” was in middle school at a family camp.  A friend from Pittsburgh (the big city), had MC Hammer’s latest tape.  It was the coolest thing I had ever heard!  And the flowing pants were so weird, but so cool!

Looking back now at these raps songs (some of the first I had ever heard), they sound cheesy and the theology in the lyrics is suspect.  But this week, I still found myself singing under my breath…

We got to pray
Just to make it today
I said we pray (Back ground singers: pray) ah yeah, we pray (pray)

First, my wife, Sara, is out of the country on a mission trip so I have a new appreciation for single parents.  I am the only one responsible for homework, food, getting to school, playing games, chores and discipline.  So I’m praying “help” throughout the entire day and finally sink into the couch with a “Thank you!”.

Secondly, I prayed with someone this week who was struggling with direction in their life.  Then I prayed with someone who was headed to a family member’s death bed.

In all three situations, I didn’t have any idea what to do.  When it comes to parenting, I don’t really know what I’m doing, but I try hard.  When it comes to seeking God’s direction for someone else’s life, I don’t have an answer.  Most of the time, I’m not sure what direction God is calling ME to do so how would I know what God is calling someone else to do?  When it comes to facing the death of a family member, I still don’t have an answer.  I’ve been there myself.  I prayed the Lord’s Prayer through my tears, but that doesn’t mean you should.

I didn’t know what to do.  I didn’t know what to say.

So I’ve learned that since most of the time I don’t know what to do or say, I pray.

And the prayer that comes to mind most often is summarized in one word:  “help”.

“Help” is a prayer that is always answered.” writes Anne Lamott.  “It doesn’t matter how you pray–with your head bowed in silence, or crying out in grief, or dancing.  Churches are good for prayer, but so are garages and cars and mountains and showers and dance floors.  Years ago I wrote an essay that began, ‘Some people think that God is in the details, but I have come to believe that God is in the bathroom.’”*

Be it in the dance hall, the garage, the church, the bathroom or MC Hammer lyrics, God does answer both the prayer of “help” and the prayer of “thank you”.  Let me suggest that when someone mentions a life situation, you don’t have to know what to say.  You don’t have to have the answers, but you can take it to the Lord in prayer immediately.  You can ask, “Can I pray with you about that?”  (I can almost guarantee they will say “yes”.)  And then ask the Lord to work in the situation because you don’t know what to say and you don’t have the answer, but he does.

Amen.  That’s it.

So give me a little room to move as I pull out my flowing, MC Hammer pants and do a dance.

We got to pray
Just to make it today
I said we pray (Back ground singers: pray) ah yeah, we pray (pray)

*Quote by Anne Lamott, Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith


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