Blanket Of Prayer - A Play By Curtis Hildebrand
The scene opens up in the kitchen of a man named Daryle. Daryle is a very average guy. He is dressed in jeans and a regular T-shirt. Nothing about him stands out. He could be me. He could be you. The room is a bit of a mess. He is hurriedly getting ready for work - making toast and coffee, grabbing his briefcase and is about to rush out the door. Some mysterious person (MP) is following Daryle. She is wearing white but Daryle appears not to notice her at all. This person is carrying a stack of blankets or bedsheets and a washcloths at the top. (Most of them are very thin and full of holes - including the washcloth. The lowest 1 is completely intact but the audience doesn't know any of this yet).
Daryle grabs his toast and coffee and sits down at the table briefly. He eats nearly half of the toast at once. Then, with his mouth full of food says:
Daryle - Oh yeah, I should pray! (Folds his hands) God please bless this food to my body. Amen.
The mysterious person casually comes to him and puts the stack of blankets on the counter. She then holds up the washcloth to the audience for about 2 seconds and they see how full of holes it is. She is about to lay it over Daryle's toast but before she can, Daryle finishes it. The mysterious person looks disappointed.
Daryle rushes out the door (he rushes with his body movements - the stage may not be big enough for him to actually be running). The mysterious person is always following him (with a couple of feet between) but looks as casual as ever.
Daryle (restlessly) - Okay, I'm off to work
As Daryle is going to work, he meets a homeless person who is curled up on the side of the road. Daryle slows down slightly, looks at this person, the looks up and prays.
Daryle - God, bless this guy.
Daryle continues on. MP comes behind, stops and lays down her stack of blankets on the floor. She chooses another one and holds it up to the audience. It, too, is full of holes. She then lays it over the homeless person. She then picks up her stack of blankets and stands back. Immediately an average-looking person wanders on stage eating a sandwich. He looks at the homeless person and gives him the rest of his half-eaten sandwich and moves on. MP continues to follow Daryle.
Daryle is continuing on to work. He comes across a child who has fallen off his bike and has a scraped knee. Daryle slows down again slightly and prays.
Daryle - God, help this kid.
Daryle keeps going to work. MP comes behind the child and lays her stack of blankets down, choses one which is again completely full of holes and lays it over the child and stands back. Immediately someone wanders onto stage and, seeing the child, takes out a band-aid out of her pocket and drops it on the floor in front of the child on the floor and moves on. The child is then forced to pick up the band-aid, put is on his knee and walks off-stage with his bike. MP continues to follow Daryle.
Daryle is still going to work and passes a pregnant woman. She is carrying a large bag of groceries and has dropped a tin can on the floor. She is struggling to pick it up but can't quite reach it. Daryle pauses slightly, looks at her, then up to the ceiling and prays.
Daryle - God, help this woman.
MP comes behind this lady, lays her stack of blankets on the ground and chooses another blanket, thin and full of holes, then lays it over the lady. Immediately someone wanders in from the side carrying a small block of wood. He pauses next to the pregnant woman and looks at her.
Stranger (to pregnant woman) - Oh, are you having trouble reaching the can? Let me help you.
He reaches down and picks up the can. He then sets the block of wood on the floor and sets the can on the block to make it easier for her to reach. Then he wanders off the stage. She is now able to reach the can - but just barely. She picks it up and puts it in her bag then continues on her way. MP goes over to catch up with Daryle.
Daryle makes it to work. The scene ends.
The scene opens again with Daryle home again from work. He is sitting on his couch with his Bible on his lap. He is spending time with the Lord. MP is sitting on the couch with Daryle on the opposite end. This is the conversation he is having with God. God is not seen but we can hear Him off-stage.
Daryle - Hey God
God - Hey Daryle.
Daryle - (Daryle is somewhat taken aback by God speaking to him. But he regains his cool and says) Some day today.
God - It was quite the day for me too. I was busy feeding children in Africa, helping the homeless in Nigeria and teaching people to love Me in America.
Daryle (nonchalantly- trying not to notice that his day doesn't even come close to comparing with God's busy day) My day was busy too... (Pausing to get back on topic) Hey God, I was wondering if you could show me some prayer techniques. I want to be your greatest prayer warrior but I think I'm missing something.
God - Time. Passion.
Daryle - Pardon me?
God - You said you were missing something. You're right. You're missing time and passion.
Daryle - (To audience) That was unexpected. (To God - slowly) So, how do I get those?
God - Well, as far as time goes. Everyone gets 24 hours a day. There's nothing we can do there. If you waste the time on meaningless things, you'll never get that time back. But if you spend it in prayer and helping the needy, you will invest for eternity.
Daryle - Okay, I get that. What about passion?
God - Passion is seeing the world from My perspective - to see what I see. The more you see the people in the world the way I see them, the more concern you will have for them. For instance, I sent you three people on the way to work this morning that needed your help. Do you remember?
Daryle - Yeah God, I've been meaning to talk to you about that! You gotta stop doing that on my way to work. I don't really have time in the morning for anything extra!
God - You need to be ready to help whenever I put someone in your path. Well, let's examine the prayers you prayed and my responses to them. It's time to open your eyes to what you couldn't see before. Let me introduce Gabriel to you!
Daryle (sees MP for the first time) - Woah! You were hear the whole time?! That's pretty cool!
God - You've been covering people in prayer all day. I wait eagerly to answer your prayers. Gabriel, show him the types of prayers he's been praying.
Gabriel holds up another blanket - completely full of holes.
Daryle (shocked) - Those are my prayers?!
God - Yeah, they are. Next time you see someone in need, why don't you try pausing for a bit and ask me what I see. I know everybody better than you ever could! I would love to show you their deepest need so that you can pray in a way that can help touch those needs. For instance - when you saw the homeless person this morning, what would you say his need is?
Daryle - It looked like he needed a shower and some fried chicken!
God - You saw only the surface. He used to be a wealthy business man, but his company was downsizing and laid him off. His vast experience made it to expensive
for anyone to afford to hire him. He lost everything and is living on hand-outs. He needs a job - and a friend who will help him get back on his feet.
Daryle - Okay, I could not have known that.
God - No, but I did. And what about the child who fell off is bike.What were your thoughts about him?
Daryle - That's easy! He obviously needed a band-aid.
God - Well, there was more to it than that. He fell off his bike because the handle bars were loose. His father has been working 2 jobs just to make ends meet. His mother is sick at home and so there is no one at home to take care of him. There is no one who has the time to fix his bike or to show him My love.
Daryle - Wow, this is insightful. Let me guess, the pregnant lady needed more than just help with picking up a can off the floor.
God - You guessed it!. The pregnant woman never had an active father in her life. She's been running from poisoned relationship to relationship looking for the love her father never gave her. She needed someone to show her what a true father looks like. Your covering of prayer started to bring help, but lacked passion or insight into these peoples' greatest desires. So next time you see someone I put in your path, ask Me what their greatest needs are and how I want you to help fill those needs. As you pray specific prayers asking Me to intervene, I will come in and show you insights you could never have imagined!
Daryle - (A light bulb clearly goes off in his head about this new insight) God, thanks for showing me these things. I really need you to open my eyes to the hurting people of this world and to show me how to pray for my friends and family so that my prayers can have maximum impact!
As he's praying these things, Gabriel come behind Daryle and places a blanket - completely intact - over him. Daryle snuggles up with it and starts to fall asleep. As he does. He says:
Daryle - Thanks God, for all you've been teaching me. Good night.
God - I'm always here for you. Thanks for taking the time to listen. See you in the morning.