Shootin' the Breeze

and random targets

Prayer-able

Consider this parable:
A man was driving on a country road when one of the tires on his truck blew out and was flat.
His brother came along and invited the man with the flat tire to come have a beer with him sometime.
“That would be nice, but what I need now is to borrow your cell phone so that I can call AAA.”
“You should not need my cell phone.  I know that you have a cell phone.  Use your cell phone.”
“I left my phone at home.  That is why I am asking for your help, Brother.  What does it hurt you to hand me your cell phone so that I can call AAA?”
“You should have checked your tires.  Then this could have been avoided.  I don’t have a flat tire.”
“Yes, I know, but may I use your phone or not?”
“No.”
“Man, that hurts my feelings.”
“I will pray for you.”
“Thanks, but I need to call AAA.”
“I will pray for you.”
“I heard you the first time.”
“That is all I want to say.  I will pray for you.  Bye.”
And he drove away, thinking, “My brother is sure a screw up.  After all I have done for him, he wants to use my cell phone.  Isn’t praying for his sorry ass enough?  How dare he say that I hurt his feelings!  I am a good person.  Way better than him.  He deserves to be stranded.  Still, I will pray for him and patiently await the opportunity to have a beer together like the good old days.”
After the devout Christian brother drove away, a Samaritan on a Harley stopped.
“Hey, Dude, need any help?”
“Yeah, thanks.  Do you have a cell phone that I can use to call AAA?”
“Sure.  No problem.”
Maybe the brother was praying that someone else would help.
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17 thoughts on “Prayer-able

  1. My wife and I taught the youth Sunday School class last Sunday. The lesson was about living water and the woman at the well. We wondered who we would think of as Samaritans in our day. I believe you nailed it.

    A few years ago we got up early one morning and drove a couple hours to meet my wife’s siblings at a restaurant for breakfast. As we were visiting, we saw motorcycles entering the parking lot. Big bearded men with black leather jackets strolled into the restaurant and were ushered into a private dining area. We watched nervously as this was happening, wondering what gang they belonged to. When I got up to pay, I walked by the open door of their room and saw these tough looking men with their heads bowed, one of them standing to lead in prayer.

    Those Samaritans sure have a nasty way of upsetting our prejudices. Great post.

    • Thanks, I have had similar experiences with bikers, but what caused me to write this was a recent experience with a modern Pharisee, who failed to respond to a specific request, failed to apologize when told of the hurt he caused, yet cheerfully promised to pray. The prayers ring hollow when the person praying has no empathy and will not lift a finger to help. Bob, if you need your lawn mowed, but a wheel came off your mower and I have a wheel, instead of providing the wheel or mowing your lawn, if I just pray that you will be “blessed,” you might question my brotherly love.

  2. Praying the brother with the flat tire can find forgiveness in his heart. Maybe the man on the motorcycle was in need of a prayer as well. Never know what and who you meet and who you greet will need in the way of prayer.

  3. This is a great and sad, but true post. So many people call themselves Christians, but they fail to be a Christian. I’ve seen non-church goers give, love and care more than some Christians do.

    It’s funny because this has been on my mind since I woke up this morning. A person should never label themselves as something, unless they are living every part of it. A man is not a doctor until he has passed the final exam and received his license. A Christian is not a Christian until he behaves like one. Mislabeling oneself, is one of the main reasons people despise religion so much. Be who you say you are, otherwise don’t proclaim it.

  4. A recent experience in my family has caused me to read this through a couple of times. Good post.

  5. It’s a shame when non-believers understand the Gospel better than so called believers do!
    reminds of James 2:16-17 … “If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.”

  6. Reblogged this on Shootin' the Breeze and commented:

    I was recently reminded that one reason to pray is to be better able to see the needs of another and, seeing them, prayer is not enough when we can actually do something concrete to help.

  7. Sometimes praying is the best thing to do. Sometimes it is all we can do. Other times. . .

    One Saturday morning, about forty years ago, my wife and I were heading east from Moose Jaw on the Trans Canada Highway. A light rain was falling. Just out of the city, we passed a hitch-hiker. We went on by, we don’t really make it a practice to pick up hitch-hikers. I noted though, that he was young, black, and neatly dressed. I started to think out loud: “That guy was black. How long is he going to stand there before someone picks him up? And it’s raining.”

    My wife agreed. This is a divided highway, but there was a place coming up where we could turn around. We circled back and came up to the place where the young man was still standing and offered him a ride. He was from southwestern Ontario, had come west and found work in Moose Jaw, didn’t have a vehicle and wanted to get to Regina to see his girlfriend. We were on our way to Regina so we took him to the part of the city where he wanted to go and parted ways.

    It never occurred to me to pray. I doubt that God would have looked kindly on a prayer that someone else would do what I was perfectly able to do.

    • My point exactly. You helped a stranger, which posed a danger. I am thinking of family as well. No danger, just no help other than prayer. Prayer can be powerful and I welcome prayers on my behalf. Prayers can be insincere though, especially when they are not accompanied by any effort but a few seconds of rote words to “bless” the hurting person.

  8. I was blessed by a young man’ who when I suffered a highway blowout of a tire saw me with my cane looking over my blown tire, pulled over, baked up, got out my spare changed the tire and followed me to Belgrade where I had to buy a new tire, He would take nothing for his help but my thanks!

  9. As somebody already said, “a sad, but true post”. Hopefully, it will make one or two people think.

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