Fred and Wanda were a dear older couple in the little country church we pastored in southern Missouri when we first got married in 1976. Fred had lost his right arm in an oil well accident many years earlier and his thumb on his left hand in a different accident, but he had learned to compensate and was a real blessing in helping us to renovate the little parsonage we lived in. In fact he did construction for a living. It was an inspiration to watch him use a hammer and drive a nail with speed and strength with only four fingers and the stump of a severed arm.
But our favorite memory of Fred was a prayer request. It was the custom in that little country church to ask the congregation what they wanted to pray about and various needs would be expressed.
One Sunday evening Fred requested prayer for a friend, “Pray for my friend Jim. He had a hysterectomy and is in a whole lot of pain.” Wanda, who was sitting beside him went right along with him, nodding in agreement and weeping. I suppressed a laugh as I noted the other older folks in the church didn’t see the problem with such a request. I am not sure how I actually prayed that night but managed to get through it.
(We never tried to correct him or clarify but I think he meant another type of ectomy.)
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This makes me think of an old lady in a church I attended as a young person. She was concerned about a head x-ray she was scheduled to have done soon, and earnestly asked prayer that “they won”t find anything”. (Of course the young people found this very funny.)
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Here’s my “prayer request” story. For months we had been praying for an aunt of one of my students in the Christian Academy where I taught. The prayer request was that she would have a “safe baby”! (the girl was 10 years old) The day came when the prayer request changed to announce the safe arrival of the baby cousin. But the mother was “stitched from ear to ear”! Sue gave a shrug of her shoulders and a gesture as to “whatever that means”!!!! 🙂