(If you ever read the comments on Stuff Christians Like, which I continue to contend are often funnier/more insightful than the original post, you’re familiar with Jarrod Haggard. For months he’s been a daily, fantastic contributor to the conversation we’re all having and a few weeks ago he even agreed to sit in for a guest post. It’s a straight satire about how we often abuse and misuse and confuse our prayer requests. Enjoy.)
The Sales Pitch Prayer Request or
How To Get Whatever You Ask For in Prayer – by Jarrod Haggard
A while ago I had to drive several hours every day for my job. Most days I listened to a Christian radio station…let’s call it B-loved. The deejay was a great guy, let’s call him Mark. At 3:30 every afternoon Mark would take the day’s prayer requests and mash them together into an epic fifteen minute prayerathon. I enjoyed this opportunity to pray, but I really loved the lesson I learned from Mark about the art of getting prayers answered.
One day, in the middle of the prayerathon, Mark brought forth a moment of awesome so grand in scale that it changed my attitude towards prayer forever. It went a little something like this…
“…and Lord, I just want to take a second and lift up my own prayer request to you. I ask that you please help with my car situation. Father, I am still trying to sell my blue ’96 Honda Accord…with only 56,000 miles, new tires, no dents, and all the service records. God, I’m only asking $7,500 or best offer for it, and I would love it if you, in your wisdom, would lead someone to contact me here at the station if they’re interested…”
Yes, I can put it in quotes because you don’t forget a prayer like that…ever. Those simple words, echoed into the ears of thousands, altered my prayer life completely. I realized that I had missed one of the greatest opportunities ever presented to people that pray in groups.
So, in true SCL fashion, here are the three steps that you can take to finally get whatever you ask for in prayer.
1. Find as many groups as possible.
Sunday night prayer meeting. Wednesday night bible study. Tuesday morning prayer breakfast. The more people the better. Home groups are especially helpful, and most of them are divided by region. So if no one knows exactly where you live, you could go to a home group every night of the week! What you want is an audience. If you’re good-looking, get on T.V. If you have a pleasant voice, get on the radio. If you’re witty and irreverent, post a lot of comments on a popular blog.
2. Endear yourself to the people around you.
Be just.like.them. Do they have kids? Borrow your nieces and nephews, or use the stock photos that came with your wallet. Are they college age? Wear flip-flops and a Castro hat. Are they retired? Learn to love buffets at 4 in the afternoon. Remember, Bob has no sense of personal space and will probably require a couple hugs per night. Jack, on the other hand, prefers handshakes. Learn their spouse’s names. Get familiar with their hobbies.
3. Know your audience.
College kids probably won’t buy the house you’re having trouble selling, but if you need to get your mom’s yard cleaned (like she’s been asking you to do for a month now), they’re your target. Need dental work? Try the home group in the upscale part of town. Tired of frozen dinners alone? Try the Older and Single (Again) group. Looking for a good place to invest? The Businessman’s Prayer Breakfast is where it’s at. Whatever your needs are, go to the people most likely to meet those needs.
Those are the three steps I recommend but what’s really of utmost importance is that you remember not to pray something like this; “Lord, please give me the strength to overcome my burdens, and to have faith that you will meet my needs in your time. Amen.”
Instead, when you pray, pray like this; “Dear God, I really need the water pump on my car fixed by a trustworthy mechanic who does really great work and may or may not have a shop downtown on 4th st. Lord, I can’t afford to pay for this, so I ask that you would lead someone into my life who might find it in their heart to help me for free, or at a greatly reduced rate because I can probably tell a lot of people about how great the work was and get way more business for him in the future. Father, I need this work done by Tom…morrow, if at all possible. Amen.”
This prayer method works like a charm. Sometimes though, people might just reach over and turn off the radio during the daily prayerathon, from that day forward.
(For more great stuff from Jarrod, check out his blog jarrodhaggard.blogspot.com)