- Created: Wednesday, 28 June 2017 17:44
I was leading prayer in church the other day and when I finished I noticed this unusual hush. Normally when someone gets up and leads us in prayer, we all say a nice ‘amen’ at the end. It’s basically a way of saying ‘we all agree’ and that we’re in this together even though someone else is doing all the out loud words. But here’s the thing, when if finished, the ‘amen’ bit from the congregation was barely audible. It’s a bit like when you say to someone, ‘I love you’ and you don’t hear a reply. It’s a pretty big motza ball you got out there! You wonder, ‘did I say something wrong?’
Maybe it’s the Aussie laziness in my speech that left people wondering…’is that the end?’
Aussies are known for trailing off and not really finishing our sentences. ‘What did you get up to today?’ ‘Oh I went out and drove to the beach then I got a few….’ The meaning is clear enough, so we don’t bother properly concluding. Maybe I trailed off in my prayer and people weren’t sure that I’d finished. But I don’t think so, I gave a reasonably good prayer ‘wind up’ cue.
One of the reasons I don’t like doing public prayers or being the ‘MC’ for that matter, is that for me as soon as I’m on stage, it’s hard to stop the performer in me. It’s like a switch that goes on as soon as I’m on stage. I keep wondering to the Lord as I pray…’am I performing again?’. I reluctantly do the service but you see if I don’t get the big amen…well it’s like not getting the applause at the end of a show. You must wonder…did I do something wrong? It’s not that I need the applause or recognition, far from it. But I can’t escape the room, the stage and what that means in my bones.
What does the good life look like?
Many of you will know that I’ve been building a video series for family devotions called ‘Anton’s A-Z to the Good Life’. Anton and I are doodling our way through each stanza of Psalm 119, learning the Hebrew alphabet and reflecting on each letter’s significance for the good life. For my prayer at church I decided to base the prayer around the letter ‘Tet’ and the verse of Psalm 119:71
One word that gets repeated in this stanza that begins with ‘Tet’ is the Hebrew word Tov, often translated as ‘good’.
One particular verse stood out to me that uses this word was Psalm 119:71
‘It was good for me to go through a tough time so I might learn your laws’