Sunday, April 4, 2010


It never fails when the wife and I go to this particular church, some one comes up and wants to pray for us quite a few times over the last year. 99% of the time we have never seen these people before. Do we have down trodden signs posted on our backs?

Here are a few examples:

Several months ago the wife had a knee injury and was on crutches. We were in the atrium before the service eating some snacks when some one ( later found out she was a director of ministries) walked up to our table and said she wanted to pray for my wife's injury. We thought that was a nice gesture but in front of the whole atrium assembly who had been ignoring us any way? After her prayer, she spoke up and asked if the knee was healed. The wife, trying to be polite said it felt better. The prayer gal then got up with out a word and walked away before we could even find out who she was. I think the wife ticked her off.

At one encounter ( mini revival ) at this church, I was quite engrossed in a personal relationship with the Holy Spirit praying during the worship and a leader of the encounter walked up to me and started to pray over me by laying of the hands. This startled me but I decided to ignore her and continue with my own personal encounter. She did tell me I was not retired but re fired up. That was nice but whoa, I was not up front at the altar asking for prayer.

Over time the wife has met a person that is on a prayer group and she went up to say hello before we left for the day. I stood off towards the side and wouldn't you know it a guy whom I have never met comes up to me and asked if he could pray for me. I politely said no thanks and walked away.

At another encounter ( mini revival), after the service the same leader was with the worship leader by the altar. This one worship leader is very passionate in his music and we wanted to say how much we loved and appreciated his music and passion. The leader of the encounter turned to me as we were walking away and wanted to pray for me. I said thanks but I was OK and did not need prayer. She seemed shocked that I refused prayer but I tried to explain politely that it was not time for me to do that yet and I had a close relationship with our Lord through my own prayers.

Just recently after the service, the wife went up to the prayer group to say hello to her friend again as they don't get to see each other much. I did my usual standing off to the side and away from the prayer groups waiting for her and this new person whom I have never seen before walks up and says he wants to pray for me. I said no thanks, but that did not deter him. He wanted to know why and I told him as politely as I could. "That he did not know me and I did not know him. I have been in this church for over a year and no one has ever walked up to me and said hello or even made an attempt to get to know me even though I went to classes and study groups to get connected. No one was friendly in those situations so why is it that you want to pray for me now? Will you remember me at the next service and say hello, how are you doing?" He couldn't answer and walked away.

After wards, I felt bad but I imagined he was new and wanted to get in some prayer experience. I should have let him do it but considering the brick walls I have run into trying to make friends in this church and get connected for over a year, I guess I have built up a defensive wall to protect my self from any more hurt. It seems this church loves to pray for people but they don't want to have fellowship with any one out of their click groups. Had the wife not found a friend (she thinks) and likes this church, I would have never went back a long time ago.

If you have read any of my earlier post you might get an understanding of where I am coming from. Have any of you experienced this in your churches? Loving to pray for you but no connections with in the church?


Tracy said...

Really interesting.

Forgive me, but I couldn't help but chuckle a bit as I read this because it seemed almost absurd. Don't get me wrong, I think praying for someone is truly wonderful; but this group seems so pushy and impersonal. Not to sound judgmental, but it sounds like these people are less concerned about you as a person than about them as a minister of God praying for another person.

When I look at Jesus, He had a lifestyle of enjoying, loving, & appreciating people. He befriended people. He shared meals with people. He also prayed for people and performed many miracles. He even sometimes told people to stop sinning.

I know I want to be more like Jesus.

As far as my experiences in church; I've certainly encountered people sometimes who are not friendly, but haven't had the let-me-pray-for-you-even-though-I-show-no-signs-of-liking-you-or-caring-about-you-as-a-person thing.

photogr said...

Thanks Tacy as I felt the sme way (absurd). I my self will pray for people I know and ask for prayer but if I don't know them or of their circumstances, I will not force my self on them. I will let them come to me.

Maybe that is wrong of me to feel that way but it is what I feel led to act as far as others. Now that doesn't mean I will not say a silent prayer for some one I see that I feel is hurting or lost. I would like to know a little about them or get to know them first since I have not been blessed with the gift of discernment.

In my community, I do pray for people that come to me with issues and need help if they ask for prayer or help but I do not say I want to pray for you. That to me is a turn off but I always tell them that your burdens are easier to endure if you ask the Lord for help and salvation. Most then ask for me to pray for them which I gladly do. But I know them quite well as they do me.

eaglegirl said...

I have mixed emotions about this. At least you are getting some attention!
When the Pastor of Prayer asks to pray for you I would think it is a good idea to let her. She is probably hearing from the Lord that she should do so.
Strangers asking to pray for you is another thing. You never know where they are coming from, it could actually be dangerous.
A new couple in my small group is also new to Cincinnati and have noticed that people around here are just not friendly.
They go to Saturday night service and we have sat together the past 2 weeks and spent time together after also in fellowship.
I think your answer might be to find people who are 'transplants' here and get to know them. That is not easy to do.
But I pray right now that the Lord will put people in your path who will be friendly towards you that you can have fellowship with.
Due to my health issues it is hard for me to have people over my home as guests. But have you thought of inviting the few friendly people you know over? Hint, hint.
Even though you have encountered so many unfriendly people at your church try not to let it make you jaded.

photogr said...

Eagle Girl:

Don't know how I missed this post. Sorry for the late reply.

I really do not go out of my way any more to meet people at this church for obvious reasons. The wife likes to go there so I tag along.

As far as The pastor of prayers, she is OK and I know she has the gifts but then again I have no inclination to allow prayers for me from that group unless I ask for them. Perhaps it may seem antagonistic but my prior experiences leaves me a bit negative towards this church.

I got your hint and we will try to have a get together soon.

Perhaps if the wife ever decides to visit another church, I may try again to seek out fellowship but in a guarded manner.