Saying “let’s pray” when you really mean, “let’s make out.”
I did some crazy things in college.
I participated in a Halloween prank that got me put on social suspension for a year.
I rollerbladed down the massive grass hill in our football stadium and tore my shoulder blade up when I fell.
I danced with glow sticks at raves and wore reflective clothing that kind of made me look like a piece of mica.
I could probably unravel a list of crazy things I did during those four years, but I’m pretty sure I never used prayer as an excuse to make out. I know it happens. My friend Wendy said that at her church the prayer room was the best place to make out as a teenager after youth group because no one ever went into it. But I had no idea so many people were making out using the guise of prayer, until I asked for some ideas from readers for “Love Month.”
But maybe, like me, this whole phenomenon left you confused. Maybe you’ve never made purple when you’re supposed to be making prayer. How can you save yourself the embarrassment of showing up to pray and instead being propositioned for some make outing or making out or what ever the proper phrase is?
I think you need to look for these important signs.
Sign One: The Invitation
If my daughters ever tell me that some guy wants to get together with them alone, in the dark to “just talk,” I’m going to giggle and then say, “Oh you mean make out?” Given how many well lit spots we all have access to and how many public settings are available, if a guy ever invites you to pray behind a bush, out on the quad, at night, he’s really asking you if you’d like to make out.
Sign Two: The Ambience
If a guy or girl ever tries to establish “ambience” before you pray, you’re probably going to make out. Seriously, if a guy makes a mix tape for some background music, lights candles, dims the lights, etc. you’re not there to pray. Prayer never requires a mix tape.
Sign Three: The Prayer
Sometimes, I am guilty of “performance prayer,” which I am pretty sure God hates. Performance prayer is where you pray so that the people that are within hearing distance think you’re smart, holy, funny, interesting, any list of adjectives that have nothing to do with talking with God. I think I do it now because I don’t want you to read this blog, meet me, hear me pray and think to yourself, “This guy is not smart, holy, funny, interesting, etc.” That’s ridiculous, but if someone is going to try to prayer makeout with you, expect some flowery, tangled, prayer that was rehearsed in her dorm room first.
Sign Four: The lightning bolts from heaven
I’m kidding, God isn’t going to throw lightning bolts at you. You’ll probably get a flat tire though on the way home and you won’t have any bars on your cell phone because God laughs at cell phone towers and secretly calls them “Towers of Babble.” Or at the bare minimum you’ll get a really bad paper cut from the church bulletin next time you go.
Or, well, OK none of that is probably going to happen, because I don’t think God has a special category of frustration for the prayer makeout. I think He feels the same way about it as He does any time we use prayer for purposes other than say, prayer. Whether that’s praying at someone, “Lord, I hope that Mary, who is sitting next to me, will learn how to apologize, to people like me” or when we tell people we’ll pray for them and then don’t.
I think He wants us to be honest. If your goal is to make out, then say, “Hey, let’s make out,” instead of “Hey, let’s pray, to candlelight, while lying down on my couch, listening to Prince and then act surprised that we ended up making out.”