April 30, 2011 · 2:58 am
I got “called on the carpet” at church tonight. Last Friday it seemed to me there were too many people up on stage trying to pick out worship songs, and not enough people in the pews praying, so I decided this week I’d hang back and pray instead.
Over the course of the week I apparently forgot the why and just remembered I wanted to hang back. I got there a few minutes late anyway, and just slipped into a back pew and made myself as comfortable as possible. I got a few looks from people that were obviously trying to figure out what I was doing sitting down there in stead of going up on stage, but I just smiled and nodded at them and stayed put.
After a couple more songs the pastor looked back, noticed that I was taking a drink out of my water bottle and said, “I see Tammy’s back there drinking on the job”. Doh! I managed to keep from spewing my water everywhere… My first reaction was to muse at how clever he had been, then I got just a little offended. When I thought about it a bit more, though, I realized he had been exactly right, probably without intending to be.
I remembered then that my intention had been to sit in the back and cover the service in prayer instead of singing… and instead I was doing neither. So while everyone wondered why I didn’t take the cue to come up on stage, after such obvious prodding, I sat back and started praying fervently…
After a while someone all but ordered me up there, so I did go up and sing a song or two, then settled back to praying. The resulting service was much better, I think, jesting aside, so I think I’ll make a regular habit of staying back to pray. I suppose I should talk to the pastor about it before the next service, though :P
January 31, 2007 · 3:53 am
Titus 3:1-11 (NRSV) – text here is JPS translation…
O Lord, I set my hope on You;
my God, in You I trust;
may I not be disappointed;
may my enemies not exult over me.
O let none who look to You be disappointed;
let the faithless be disappointed, empty-handed.
Let me know Your paths, O Lord;
teach me Your ways;
guide me in Your true way and teach me,
for You are God, my deliverer;
it is You I look to at all times.
O Lord, be mindful of Your compassion
and Your faithfulness;
they are old as time.
Be not mindful of my youthful sins and transgressions;
in keeping with Your faithfulness consider what is in my favor,
as befits Your goodness, O Lord.
Good and upright is the Lord;
therefore He shows sinners the way.
He guides the lowly in the right path,
and teaches the lowly His way.
All the Lord’s paths are steadfast love
for those who keep the decrees of His covenant.
As befits Your name, O Lord,
pardon my iniquity though it be great.
Whoever fears the Lord,
he shall be shown what path to choose.
He shall live a happy life,
and his children shall inherit the land.
The counsel of the Lord is for those who fear Him;
to them He makes known His covenant.
My eyes are ever toward the Lord,
for He will loose my feet from the net.
Turn to me, have mercy on me,
for I am alone and afflicted.
My deep distress increases;
deliver me from my straits.
Look at my affliction and suffering,
and forgive all my sins.
See how numerous my enemies are,
and how unjustly they hate me!
Protect me and save me;
let me not be disappointed
for I have sought refuge in You.
May integrity and uprightness watch over me,
for I look to You.
O God, redeem Israel
from al its distress.