When my wife and I first got married, I thought that when she told me her problems, she wanted me to instantly solve them with my awesome ideas. I thought that what she desired, what she wanted most, was not that I listen to her problems. A large house cat or domesticated ferret can listen to you. What she needed from me were solutions.
And the faster I could get them out the better.
And if I could actually cut her off in the middle of telling me a story about her day, she’d be OK with that.
Apparently, I was mistaken.
Though I tried to instantly fix her issues, she never really seemed to take me up on my wicked awesome ideas. In fact most times, it just made her mad.
People don’t like that. Being cut off was not in fact one of her love languages. (I keep hoping that the game “Words with Friends” counts as a love language.) She wasn’t happy with me when I did that in our marriage, but I think there’s something even worse. I think there is someone even more annoying and infuriating than I was. I’m talking about …
The guy who tries to fix when your problems when you make a prayer request.
You might have experienced this individual. You might not be familiar with his moves and maneuvers. But please allow me to give you a few warning signs so that you know what to do the next time he rears his head:
4 signs you’re about to be “prayer fixed.”
1. The phrase “why don’t you just?”
This is the signature phrase of prayer fixers the world over. Having problems at your job? “Why don’t you get a new job?” Don’t like your landlord? “Why don’t you just move?” Boyfriend being a jerk? “Why don’t you just dump him?” Keep an open hear for this handy phrase.
2. The solution is always stupid obvious.
The prayer fixer doesn’t really have any deep insight, but instead usually just blurts out a solution the average organgutan would have figured out. If you’re house burned down, the prayer fixer will tell you that you should really be more careful around fire. If a squirrel got inside your attic and had what one can only assume is a well attended “squirrel dance off,” they’ll tell you, “You should keep squirrels out of your house.
3. It always happens more than once.
Everyone gets one free “prayer fix.” Even your best friends are going to pipe up when they hear you constantly complaining about a boyfriend who is a jerk. That doesn’t mean they’re a prayer fixer, it might just mean they love you. Listen for a repeat offender, someone who can’t help constantly trying to fix your problems in the middle of your prayer request.
4. If cornered, they will claim they have the “gift of discernment.”
Be forewarned, prayer fixers are slippery like river otters. If you confront them, even in Christian love, they will often tell you that they’re not judging your problems or trying to fix them. They’ve been blessed with the gift of discernment. Don’t believe them. Tell them you’ve been blessed with the gift of “water balloons” and then hit them with one.
Am I advocating a water balloon fight in the middle of a prayer circle? I suppose I am, I suppose I am.
But have you ever experienced a “prayer fixer?”