PRAYERS  5'?m2f Make prayers meaningful and thoughtful

(scene: a park bench or three chairs side-by-side)

AMY -- (enters carrying notepad and pen, crosses to bench, looks
both ways, smiles, sits, turns several pages, writes, laughs)

LIZ -- (enters, points back to exit, begins to speak, but
instead approaches quietly, looks over Amy's shoulder)

AMY -- (detects Liz's presence, covers writing with pages) Oh,
hi. What's up?

LIZ -- I was just going to tell you that the afternoon session
was about to start... what are you writing?

AMY -- Writing?

LIZ -- Yes. I saw you writing when I came out.

AMY -- Oh, I was just taking notes.

LIZ -- I saw the word PRAYER on your notepad.

AMY -- You did?

LIZ -- Yes.

AMY -- Oh, well, I....

LIZ -- Listen, I know this is your first Christian retreat. So,
I think I should tell you the ground rules.

AMY -- Ground rules?

LIZ -- Yes. What people say during prayer time is confidential.
I hope you weren't planning on....

AMY -- Oh, I would never mention names...

LIZ -- What were you going to mention?

AMY -- (pause) Listen, I have a confession to make.

LIZ -- So, this isn't your first Christian retreat?

AMY -- Oh, yes, it is. I've never been to a retreat before.

LIZ -- Then, what were you going to confess?

AMY -- Well, I described myself as a SEEKER.

LIZ -- So, you're not a seeker?

AMY -- Well, I am and I'm not. You see, I'm not a seeker in the
sense that I'm not an unbeliever.

LIZ -- I what sense ARE you a seeker, then?

AMY -- I'm a seeker looking for material for my next article.

LIZ -- You're a writer.

AMY -- Yes. I write for a popular magazine. I write the column
on religion.

LIZ -- I see. So, you came here to ridicule us.

AMY -- Not really. I came here because I had never experienced a
Christian retreat before and I thought there might be some
material here for my column.

LIZ -- And IS there?

AMY -- Yes. There's a lot of material here.

LIZ -- But you were smiling.

AMY -- Yes.

LIZ -- So, you think we're funny.

AMY -- Well, some of it was kind of amusing.

LIZ -- I don't know what you could have found so amusing during
this last session. All we were doing was group prayer.

AMY -- (represses a smile) Yes.

LIZ -- And you found that funny?

AMY -- Well, I think some of the people who were praying forgot
who they were praying to and what he is capable of.

LIZ -- For instance.

AMY -- Are you sure you want to hear this?

LIZ -- Yes. I didn't hear any prayers that weren't mindful of
who God is. Which person in our prayer group are you referring

AMY -- I don't know, my head was down and my eyes were closed...
except when I was writing down a few key words.

LIZ -- Key words.

AMY -- Yes, like the person who ask the Lord to (reads) "be with

LIZ -- "I" said that. What's wrong with that?!

AMY -- There's nothing WRONG with that.

LIZ -- Then, why did you write it down?

AMY -- Well, David says in Psalm 139 that God is everywhere. You
don't have to ask God to "BE WITH US", he's ALWAYS with us.

LIZ -- And you think that's funny.

AMY -- (represses a smile) I thought it was a little amusing
that someone would pray for something they already have.

LIZ -- What else. (points)

AMY -- You're sure you want to...

LIZ -- Yes, what else!

AMY -- One person in the prayer circle prayed for a person who
is sick....

LIZ -- That was me!

AMY -- Maybe we should go in for the next session. (stands)

LIZ -- (Sternly) Sit.

AMY -- I'm sitting. (sits)

LIZ -- I said she was going in for blood tests and I asked God
to make the tests come out negative. What's wrong with that?!

AMY -- Well, I suppose God could FAKE the test results. (smiles)

LIZ -- That's ridiculous! I was praying for healing!

AMY -- That's not what you asked for.

LIZ -- What else you got!

AMY -- Why don't we just... (points to exit)

LIZ -- What else?!

AMY -- (reads) "Thee and thou."

LIZ -- What's wrong with that?!

AMY -- Nothing. There's nothing WRONG with it.

LIZ -- Then, why did you write it down?!

AMY -- I was just musing about whether you get better results by
using four-hundred-year-old English.

LIZ -- That's the way Jesus prayed!

AMY -- THEE and THOU are Old English words. Jesus spoke Aramaic
and Greek.

LIZ -- Well, then how come everybody in my church prays like

AMY -- Superstition?

LIZ -- Very funny.

AMY -- It was a little humorous. That's why I wrote it down.

LIZ -- What else you got?

AMY -- Nobody prayed for daily bread or forgiveness of sins.

LIZ -- So?

AMY -- In Jesus' sample prayer....

LIZ -- You mean, the LORD'S PRAYER.

AMY -- Yes, in that prayer he said "give us this day our daily

LIZ -- ...We've already got bread. We've got plenty of food!...

AMY -- What's the matter?

LIZ -- We just take food for granted. We hardly ever think about
the millions of people around the world who go to bed hungry.

AMY -- Or who die of hunger.

LIZ -- That's true.

AMY -- But it's not very funny. I'm not sure I'll use it in my 

LIZ -- (stands, exits) You know what IS funny though?

AMY -- (follows) What's that?

LIZ -- I say AMEN after every prayer and I don't have a clue
what it means.

2013 Bob Snook. Conditions for use:
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