Last week I was at the Orange Conference. It was an amazingly fun experience and I spent most of the week making this face:
I don’t know what I was saying at that moment, probably “Yay Jesus!” or “Look at me, I’m wearing a sports coat! (Why do we call them sports coats by the way? Those are the absolutely worst thing to do sports in. If your friend runs half marathons in sports coats, your friend is an idiot. I digress.)
After the conference was over, I was hanging out with two other speakers in the volunteer room. A group of volunteers came up to me and asked if I would participate in a prayer circle. They said it was a tradition and that we all needed to hold hands. The other two speakers I was hanging out with immediately abandoned me to the awkwardness of what was surely going to follow and stopped talking to me as if I was invisible.
I looked back at them with a “save yourselves, it’s too late for me” look, but they had already moved on. Public speaking is apparently not the Marines, they will leave a man behind.
Now right now you’re probably thinking I’m a horrible person for not wanting to initially participate in the prayer circle. Pump the brakes there eye plank. I’m an introvert. Maybe at the end of a four day event, holding hands with a group of complete strangers, for an undetermined amount of time, as you try to run out the door to drive two hours to your next event does not sound like an awkward experience to you. You are clearly a better Christian than me. But if you felt smug at all while reading this last paragraph you struggle with pride and are probably a lousy Christian too. Turns out we both need Christ.
I circled up with the volunteers. They said they’d all make prayer requests and then I could close the prayer.
The woman next to me said, “My prayer request is unspoken.” I thought that was a little odd, to start a prayer circle and then immediately bust out an “unspoken,” but whatever.
Then the second person made their prayer request and said, “My prayer request is unspoken.”
At this point, I did what you do whenever you’re told to keep your eyes closed while people raise their hands after a salvation decision, I opened my eyes. The woman across from me was shaking as she tried to hold her laughter in.
I yelled out, “Is this a prank?” And everyone in the circle burst into laughter.
The whole thing was a set up.
They planned the entire thing because I once wrote a post about how if you make an “unspoken” prayer request, everyone assumes you are talking about porn. We never assume you said unspoken because, “They must help too many orphans and homeless people and don’t want to brag about it.”
It was a well planned, brilliantly executed prank. And it was also the first time I’ve ever been “prayer pranked.”
The funny thing is that now, the next time someone asks me to pray, I’m probably going to say, “Like pray pray or is this a prank?” Then they’ll tell me, “Prayers are never pranks. What is wrong with you?” And then I’ll blunder some explanation about porn and unspoken requests, which will only make the whole situation worse at which point they’ll start crying a little. Softly.
That’s how I imagine it going in my head anyway.
What’s the best church prank someone has ever played on you or you played on someone else?