Monday, October 4, 2010

Can I pray for you?

I work as a restaurant server. Sad, but true.

Yesterday, I was working the lunch shift and waited on these two very sweet, but incredibly trying middle-aged women. I noticed them praying before they ate their bread and made sure not to disturb them. Later, after I answered their 9,000 questions and satisfied their inane requests and FINALLY took their order, one of the women says, "Now, my dear....we already prayed over our food, but we'll pray again when our meal comes. And I want to ask you, is there anything we can pray about for you?"

I'll take this kitten's prayers, thanks. He's cuter.
These are very nice women, otherwise, and I depend on their tip, so I just say, "That's very sweet of you, but I'm just fine, thank you. You don't need to pray for me."

"Are you sure? Any family we can pray for? You must have something!"

"No, ma'am, I'm just fine on prayers. But thank you so much for thinking of me." And I walk away.

I was hoping that would be the end of it, but NO! When I come back to check on them during their meal, I ask if everything is OK. Church lady says she has a big problem.

"Oh, no, I'm sorry, ma'am, what is it?"

"I am just so troubled. I can't believe there's nothing about which we can pray for you."

"Trust me, that's very sweet, but I've got two grandmas and a mother who I know are praying for me every day. I'm covered." That at least made them laugh.

"Ohhhhhh, are they Christian? What church do they go to?" (Now what the fuck difference would it make if my parents are Jewish, Muslim, Hindu or Buddhist? My family is Catholic, but I had a feeling that this lady wouldn't consider that Christian)

"My family is back in Iowa, actually..."

"OHHHHHHH.... Now how old are you? Are you in college or are you done with school? What are you doing in Los Angeles?" She bombards me with questions until she decides that she will pray that I have success in my career. Oddly enough, they assumed I was an actor even though I told them I was a writer (I'm tired of having that conversation EVERY day with customers).

Maybe I should have told her that I wrote a blog and that she should pray that I get more readers. Here's my point:  

What do you say when someone asks to pray for you?

Since I was at work, I had to be polite. What could I have said? Don't waste your time? What's the point? Do you really think you have a direct line of communication with an invisible, fictitious omnipotent being that has direct influence over your life and the lives of others? Are you so freaking special that your prayers mean more than the prayers of millions of others? Are you that narcissistic? I guess, in this case, that was true. These women also asked that I refrigerate and hold their leftover food until they got back from the movies. So, yeah.


  1. It's only ever happened to me once, unless you count my dad who mentions that he's praying for me every time we communicate. And my response has just been to laugh (politely) and say 'okay.'
    I don't know what I'd do if the conversation were pushed further, though.

  2. The thing about such people is that they figure that God hears all prayers and thus it's not narcissistic it's "helpful". When someone offers to pray for me I tell them thank you. They aren't hurting anyone by it and it at least demonstrates positive intention. If they asked me to pray for them they would meet resistance but It doesn;t bother me if someone wants to mumble to themselves on my behalf.

  3. I take someone saying they'll pray for me as a compliment. Many of the friends who tell me this know that I do not believe in a Christian god, but they're at least attempting to think about me in some form, and hope that things will improve for me. I hear it as "I'll keep you in my thoughts" more than "I'll ask some fictitious man in the sky to help you!"

    Good thoughts are good thoughts, and if they're bad thoughts, well... it's not like I've been struck down by lightning yet. *looks at storm clouds with narrowed eyes*

  4. I know God is real if he wasn't I wouldn't be alive, and u can't tell me he isn't I hate to wake u up but he is out there I have heard him answer my prayers and I have seen him do miracles nothing in the non-supernatural world Could touch, I dont care if u wanna kill me after this but if any of u think I am wrong watch 23 minutes in hell. I dare you. If u try to bite back and u don't do so you are a coward! And he isn't in the sky.. He is beyond the sky in a place none of you will touch with such a cross attitude! I have had a man tell me something I didn't know anyone knew about me and say God took care of it, I mean some random man comes up to you (an evangelist) and says "you will not have to stick to pills to find strength in the loss of your dad anymore." and the freaky thing is noone knew he was dead because we never had spoken before. I pray all the time and u know what not every Christian has a perfect life and that may make u wonder why wouldn't their God give them a perfect life? Well because is it possible to grant everyones selfish wishes? No.. Why? Because God is a just God. I think if u read 90 minutes in heaven or 23 in he'll u wouldn't feel so wrong about God. And judge me for being a crazy Christian but noone is perfect! God even says so.


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