The Bus Stop is a series of true stories about my life, people I've worked with and events I've experienced. Of course the names have been changed. I hope these stories will brighten your day with a few laughs as well as give you encouragement. Hopefully you can avoid making some of the mistakes I've made and if you have already made them, then you can identify with me.

Monday, August 10, 2009


Once again as I was looking back into my childhood I couldn’t help but think about some of the people who were called on to pray publicly. We would hear, “Would Brother ____ please lead us in a word of prayer.” Then you would hear the man drone on and on. “Bless this day and that day, bless the sick (and he would name all of them if he could remember) bless the weather” and then he would say, “We ask in Jesus Name” and everyone’s legs would bend and then he’d go on for another 5 minutes. My friend made a joke after he was finished and said, “He forgot to ask God to keep his shoe from coming untied.” Also it was more effective to pray in King James English by using “Thee’s and Thou’s” because this language is the one that God spoke and it was definitely more spiritual. (I hope you know I’m being facetious) Your legs would start getting tired and of course being a kid made this episode last even longer. You would see a lot of fidgeting kids starting to pray now that he would hurry up and get finished. I know the pastor was thinking about his choice to cut his sermon short or go over and upset everyone. If we as kids could see through these people as being put-ons and phony we couldn’t help but wonder if the grownups saw it as well. You could always tell who didn’t pray during the week because they tried to make up for it on Sunday.

This type of prayer reminds me of the scripture about the Pharisees praying on street corners so everyone could see how spiritual they were. "And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues (Churches) and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth; they have received their reward in full. Matthew 6:5 What upsets me concerning this is there are many that think this is spiritual and this is the way it’s supposed to be. I forgot…we were supposed to put our hands together to make it official. I found out later they had children to do this just to keep their hands occupied.

So many times I see people who are afraid to pray in public because they don’t know how to do it “properly.” It’s a shame that this has become their belief and couldn’t be farther from the truth. The sweetest prayers I’ve ever heard came from inexperienced new Christians because they spoke from the heart. This is the prayers that God hears! He’s not concerned with our eloquence, only people are.

Prayer has no mystical methods to get God’s attention. He simply wants us to speak our heart to Him. Unload our concerns and petitions for others. He wants us to speak truthfully and honestly with Him. We are not hiding anything from God. He knows what we’re thinking. Quit telling Him what you think He wants to hear and tell Him what’s on your heart. If you feel the need to complain or yell at Him, believe me He understands. The cool thing is, when you get real with God, He’ll get real with you.

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