A prayer

You, sir, are amazing. You can do everything.

Yes, that’s true. Why are you telling me that?

Because you deserve it. You deserve to be told that.

Yes, I do. But why are you telling me that?

What do you mean?

You tell me that I’m amazing, but it seems to be just before you ask me for something. And the bigger the thing you are asking me for, the more it will benefit you personally, the more you flatter me.

Flatter you? I’m not flattering. Flattering is when we say things that will make the other person like us more, even if we don’t quite believe what we are saying.


When I say you are amazing, I mean it. Really. I believe it. … But you think that I only say nice things about you when I want something?

Just think back through the last five times you talked to me.

Okay. Hmm. Question, can I count the times that I told someone that I would pray for them?

Did you ever do it? Did you ever turn from looking at them to look at me and ask for my help? If you did, you can count it. If you just said, “I’ll be praying” to make them feel better, then you can’t count it.

Ouch. But what about Sunday morning. Those songs that talk about you. Those count, right? I mean, I’m saying things to you about how amazing you are and I’m not expecting anything.

Oh. But that’s the point. I’m trying to figure out what counts. And even when I point out the times that I haven’t expected anything, I’m building a case: I praised you 3 times without asking anything. So I should be able to ask for something now.

So what do you want?


Inspired in part by Psalm 78, but mostly just a transcript.

9 thoughts on “A prayer

  1. Joseph Ruiz

    You didn’t ask my permission to use this! (just kidding) Wow just like you were listening in. I so don’t want to do this, but when i read it i recognize it as a familiar dialogue. Way too familiar! Like the writer of Hebrews says, No discipline is pleasant in the moment.

    Oh and I endorse Rich’s comment, ALL of it.

    Grace & Peace.
    I needed this.



  2. Tim Hayes

    Powerful message today Jon. And very thought provoking. I look forward to being part of the disciple conversation all year.


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