(Wife sits quietly with bible, reading. Husband enters with clipboard checking off items.)
Husband: Almost. (Continues checking list)
Wife: What are you doing?
Husband: Getting ready.
Wife: What do you mean?
Husband: Every time we try to pray together something interrupts us. So I made a checklist.
Wife: When did you do that?
Husband: Last night…when we -
Wife: (Finishes with him) -- were supposed to be praying together.
Husband: Yeah, I know, but I think this takes care of everything. I’m going to run through the list and ---
Wife: Honey, by the time we finish your list…we could be finished with our pra--- (sees look on his face) what’s wrong?
Husband: You said you wanted me to be more of a spiritual leader. And you’re right…I haven’t been the best at that, but I want to start with us praying together and if I’m going to be the leader…you’re going to have to fol – let me lead, ok?
Wife: I’m sorry. You’re right. What do you want me to do?
Husband: Just listen to my list and let me know if I missed anything.
Husband: (Uses pen to check off items as he calls them out) Kids in bed – Check. Dog out – Check. Cell phone off – Check. Beeper off – Check. Watch alarm off – Check. TV Off – Check. Phone off the hook – Check. Dog back in – Check. Teeth brushed -
Wife: Teeth brushed???
Husband: I can’t pray out loud if my mouth feels all nasty.
Husband: Teeth Brushed – check. Did I miss anything?
Wife: Did you put a do not disturb sign on the doorbell?
Husband: Very funny. I’m trying to be serious about this. I know how important this is to you.
Wife: How important this is to us.
Husband: That’s what I said.
Wife: No. You said how important it is to me. I think this should be important to both of us.
Husband: Sorry, slip of the tongue. This is important. I’ve even been doing some reading and surfing the net about praying together and I do realize we need to do this, ok?
Husband: Good. So are you ready?
Husband: (Puts down clipboard, moves center and stands with arms raised and face upturned. She has remained seated and bowed her head and closed her eyes. Pause then she peeks and sees him)
Wife: What are you doing?
Husband: Getting ready to pray. One of the articles I read said this is a good position for prayer since it acknowledges that God as a higher authority. Come on, stand up.
Wife: (She stands up beside him with head bowed and hands upturned but much lower than his. He looks at her then moves behind her and raises her arms straight up. Then he turns her face toward the ceiling. Satisfied, he moves back to his position. After a short pause) I’m sorry, this doesn’t work for me. I’m not comfortable praying like this. (She sits back down)
Husband: Ok. The article also said we should be comfortable. See, I’m flexible…we’ll just try something else. (He thinks for a moment then lies prostrate on the floor, face into the carpet)
Wife: (She watches in amazement and has to resist the urge to laugh.) Uh….honey???
Husband: (Muffled as he talks into the carpet) Good… this doesn’t work for me either. (He gets to his knees and starts trying different hand positions.)
Wife: Why don’t you just come sit down?
Husband: Ok…we’ll try that. (He sits and they both bow their heads and close eyes. Short pause then he peeks at her…then she peeks at him and he closes his eyes…he peeks and she closes hers. Finally she gives him a questioning look)
Husband: I thought it would be better if you start. Then I’ll wrap it up.
Wife: I thought you wanted to start.
Husband: I guess it doesn’t matter.
Wife: We just need to decide.
Husband: And what?
Wife: There’re some other things we should decide, too.
Husband: What are you talking about?
Wife: Well, I’ve done some research, too and, well, we need to set some ground rules like Who prays first? Do we both have to pray every time? Who’s going to remind who if we forget? How often? How long? How do we --
Husband: (Big sigh)
Husband: I thought I was supposed to be the leader on this. And as soon as I try, you start telling me what we need to do.
Wife: I just think that talking about what we are going to do and how we are going to do it is more important than checking off whether or not you let the dog out. I want you to be the leader, but we’re in this together, remember.
Husband: I know, I just feel like I should be doing a better job at it. Let’s just try again tomorrow.
Wife: No, wait. We’ll get it figured out. The important thing is we’re trying. And for tonight we’ll pray however you think best. I’ll be the perfect submissive wife.
Husband: You mean it?
Husband: (Thinks for a moment then moves center and stands with raised hands and upturned face. Without looking, he motions with his hand for her to get up and join him. He waits patiently as she hesitates and then joins him. He takes a deep breath and begins to pray loud and piously) O gracious and most loving Heavenly Father, who created heaven and earth, who watches over us in all that we do, who guides us and strengthens us in times of trouble -- (Takes breath)
Wife: (Prays earnestly as he takes a breath) Dear Lord --
Together: (He piously, she earnestly) Please help us –