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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: At the Pulpit (11/15/07)

TITLE: The reluctant prayer
By Tim White
11/16/07


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ďI know heís going to do it. Heís going to call on me sure as the world. Those folks we stayed with in Florida when we moved him up here are visiting this Sunday and I can just feel it in my bones Heís going to call on me.Ē I pray in front of this pulpit every Sunday. I pray that he wont call on me. But today its pretty much a given. I have already resigned myself to that certainty and should have used that time to come up with something to say. He knows he has got me in a position where I wouldnít dare refuse, or would I? He is just demonstrating his authority over the meek and submissive child. Do I resent that or is it that I am shy and self-conscious about praying in public? I am only twelve for goodness sake.
I know it should not bother me in the least to pray out loud. If Iím big enough to help take up the offering I ought to be big enough to say a simple little prayer. But thatís just it. After hearing all the long and drawn out petitions and instructions the older folks pass on to God, Iím ashamed of my simple little pleas because they seem so, insignificant and child like.
But doesnít God tell us to have a child like trust in him? Didnít he hear the humble cry of the sinner and ignore the self-appreciating cries of the publican?
Those were my thoughts all those many years ago when someone came up with the demented idea of having all those adolescent boys serve as ushers. I suppose it kept us out of trouble, briefly, and forced us to at least follow along in the bulletin least we forget and miss the offertory hymn causing the further embarrassment of having to be summoned to the front. Once we misunderstood the oftí changing instructions and appeared at the conclusion of the wrong song only to be sent back to the pew to await the correct song. Now that was embarrassing and humiliating. At the time I resented and resisted with all that was in me. I was born with a streak of defiance that I never fully out grew but did finally learn to use constructively. Looking back thru the eyes of an adult I can see the wisdom of getting these guys involved, so we would feel a part of something useful and good. Isnít it amazing how God can use several different circumstances in a way that glorifies himself and serves to instruct and develop young minds


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Member Comments
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Laury Hubrich 11/23/07
I love youth Sundays at our church where the youth do most all of the service. Thank you for sharing!
Laury
Joanne Sher 11/26/07
Great detail. I'd love to hear more elaboration on how this impacted you. Keep writing!