Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Please pray for . . .

Pastors hear plenty of requests for prayer. Its what we do. Someone has a need, so they come to us and ask us to intercede for them. It is humbling, really. James says that "the prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. " That someone would place that kind of trust in me, or would hold me in such regard is a weighty burden.

We've had some strange requests at Butler Church of Christ over the years. A woman once asked our elders to lay hands on her car and pray over it. The car never did really run right prompting me to wonder if the men should have anointed it with 10W40 too.

This past Sunday little Jacob came up to me and showed me a scratch on his arm. He asked me to pray for it. I knelt there and asked Jesus to help him feel better and to help Jacob be more coordinated so he might stop falling down and hurting himself.

The oddest prayer request I've received recently, though, arrived in an unmarked envelope with a Kearney, New Jersey postmark. It came addressed to Butler Christian Church (not our name), and had the wrong street number. In a town our size street numbers are more guidelines than actual locations, and with my neighbor Bill as our postman, we got the letter anyway. Inside was a half sheet of lined paper - the sort that my kids use in school. The words, nearly illegible, simply asked us to pray for someone named Ethel

I shared the request with our congregation Sunday as I explained to the sacred responsibility that is entrusted to us when someone asks for prayer.

Today I received a second request from our mysterious letter-writer. More legible, the author asked us to pray for Ethel Thomas and Gordon C. Gladden. I have no idea who they are, or what their need is. But I'll pray for them. Perhaps you could too . . .

4 comments:

Cheryl said...

My name is Cheryl my husband is the pastor of Grass Lake Assembly here in Michigan. We just received a prayer request for Ethel and Gordon as described on your blog. Do you know if anyone has discovered the rest of the story yet. grasslakeag@gmail.com

tom said...

I too received a letter like you described. Had me quite confused. I was ready to pitch it and just pray but chose to try and google it for fun. Low and behold I saw your blog! Interesting.

Anonymous said...

Like the other posts, we have received three letters like yours and I goggled. Oddly, the letters look xeroed, eact copies both envelopes & letters. Our church's address was incorrect, but it is a small town and was delivered. These letters have been sent since 2007! Is it a hoax? The sender can't be as illiterate as they pretend if they can reproduce the letters exact to the tear along the page bottom. They have to have money to keep sending the letters. Hundreds have included these prayers in their church newsletters and bulletins. But there is very little chatter online about them.

Wizdom said...

Thanks for posting an image of prayer request. An elderly man handed me the same exact request on the train last night when he noticed me reading a spirtual book. It was the same hand writing & same paper.