I learned some things recently. I probably shouldn’t be surprised, but I was.
I’d started a discussion about “What one thing would you pray for Hillary Clinton?” (That conversation is here: http://nwp.link/FB-PFHillary .)
We had a handful of folks ignore the question and rage – sometimes for, mostly against – Hillary-the-Candidate. And we had a pretty substantial number of “prayers” that were political rants in disguise.
I get that: people have been trained to have strong opinions about this election. That always happens. Moving on…
The majority of people didn’t do that; the majority of folks prayed for Hillary, or described a hypothetical prayer. And that’s where my eyes were opened.
I was struck by the nature of those prayers. Out of a hundred or so responses, the vast majority (>90%+) of the responses apart from the political comments roughly fit into one of two religious categories:
|Praying for Hillary Clinton|
- She needs to repent and stop supporting bad things! or
- She needs to have a revelation of God and get saved!
Or some variation of these two. (Full disclosure: my own prayers were in these two categories too.) They were proper religious prayers. They’re the things we’re told we “should” be praying for.
These all begin with the assumption that “Mrs Clinton is messed up, and she needs me to fix her, and let me tell you how I’d fixer, cuz I’d fix her good!”
I’m not sure any of us would want to have a crowd praying those prayers for us. She doesn’t believe she’s doing bad things (give her the benefit of the doubt); she doesn’t believe she needs to be saved (her testimony of faith was documented in the conversation).
May I be honest? These feel a whole lot like we’ve been praying, “Make her more like us!”
And that always carries the intrinsic assumption of “You’re not as good as I am. You need to be better, like I am.”
Ewww. That is, by nature, something of a curse, not a blessing.
Reading through all the prayers (and I have, many, many times) leaves me feeling like I need a bath.
Relatively few responses were addressing actual issues that Mrs. Clinton is facing: health, destiny, goodness, protection, provision. These were so terribly refreshing! These carried life, hope, faith, and (dare I say it?) love. These were the prayers I found myself feeling proud of (and they weren’t my prayers!).
This draws my attention to at least one reason why political leaders don’t like to listen to Christians: our communication (to them, among ourselves about them) is pretty unambiguous: We think we’re better than you. We’re going to fix you with our talk, with our prayers.
Our interaction with “the world” is so very seldom actually focused on their needs, their wants, their situation. Our interaction is pretty strongly “all about us.”
And in reality, it isn’t even a little bit “all about us.” Not to them. It needs to be an awful lot “about them,” if we’re going to actually connect with them.
Otherwise, we’re wasting their time and ours.
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