Host: We’ve got a nice show lined up today. Jesus’s publicist informed us that he’s looking to get the word out on the nature of prayer. Seeing as how so many of us pray and how little we understand of His will, we’re looking forward to him revealing something… anything today.
Host: Before we get to that, though, let’s take a break. We’ll be right back. Don’t go anywhere. When we come back, Jesus will reveal the intricacies and nature of prayer.
Host: Welcome back everyone. Before I bring out Jesus, he requested a little exercise. He said, ‘I want everyone to pray I come out today.’ So, folks, fold your hands and bow your heads. Pray that Jesus comes out of the green room to join us today.
*hush falls over crowd*
Host: Let’s get some help from home too. Come on everyone, let’s get this prayer circle going.
*Jesus comes bouncing out from backstage with a gallop*
Jesus: Here I am. That was nice. I’m feeling pretty spry today. *jogs in place* Feelin’ good. It’s a beautiful day. Everybody’s focused. Nice.
Host: Okay, everyone, He’s here. You can stop praying now.
Jesus: No don’t stop on my account. You go right ahead, keep it up. What is it that you envision? What do you want? What is it that you want to make manifest?
Host: Um, Jesus, you’re already here.
Jesus: I know, but it feels good. Let a guy bask for a bit. Okay, ya’ll can stop praying now for a little bit and listen. First – and this is a big one – I want to tell you all what prayer isn’t. But first, I’d like to address something that’s been kicking around for bit in my mind.
Jesus: Some of you have asked yourselves and others, why it is that God hates amputees. Yeah, that’s right, amputees. Kinda arbitrary, no? How come in the history of creation no person has ever had a limb grow back? People pray for it, right? Even lots of people at a time pray for it? "Please, Jesus, give back my son’s arm." These are noble prayers. Look, they say, it’s not for me, even. Give back my son’s arm to him. That’s a powerful sentiment, for sure. If there was ever a prayer that I could answer it would that one.
Jesus: Problem is, I can’t
Jesus: Look, grumble all you want, but I don’t answer prayers the way you think I do.
Jesus: Ask yourself this: How come the miracles that happen, or the prayers that get answered, with regard to sickness are always internal medicine? Cancer? You all say, "His cancer’s in remission! praise Jesus, our prayers were answered." Does that mean I killed the vast majority who do, indeed, die? I don’t work like that. It’s not a lottery, a look, "I got 2 get out of death cards here, and whoever prays the hardest will get them." Bah! It don’t work like that, folks.
Jesus: No, so called, "miracles" and "answered prayers" are always about something that science doesn’t understand fully yet. It seems magical because you don’t understand it. The cancer is gone – praise Jesus! I say to you, the cancer is gone, get on with your life. Use it!
Jesus: And prayers? Your prayers were answered the moment the doctors and nurses went about trying to treat you. Yes, you heard that right – answered. Your prayers are always answered. Who answers them?
Jesus: Haha, I was hoping someone in the audience would finish that thought *winks*. I was waiting too. Okay, moving on.
Jesus: What is prayer? Let me ask the audience directly. Anybody care to give it a shot. You, you there on my right, you look like you have something to say. Go ahead and stand up and tell us your name, where you’re from, and what you think prayer is.
Guest: *stands up* Um, my name is, uh Carl, and I’m from Baltimore. I, uh, think that prayer is a conversation with God. Prayer is, um, when you pray? You’re looking for some, um, direction, um, some help with something?
Jesus: Sounds good to me. You’re right to a point, but there is something missing there. When you say conversation, you’re saying dialog, right? Has God ever talked back to you?
Carl: Yes, God reveals himself to me through my prayer.
Jesus: You sound pretty sure about yourself Carl. What does he say? Frankly, I can’t get two words out of the guy. He’s been pretty surly ever since the whole Inquisition thing. Okay, I’m gonna ask some more questions. How many? That depends on you guys.
Jesus: What is a church or congregation? When people speak of the body of the church, what are they talking about?
Jesus: *whispers* You! You are the body. The Bible mentions this body all the time. The body of Christ, the body of the church, two arms two legs comprising one body, etc. etc. etc. You’ve got that, right? Well, what do bodies do?
Jesus: *whispers* They take action. The body is the vehicle of action. Nothing happens if the body doesn’t get out of bed and heave its lazy-ass self down to breakfast and get out the door *kicks at the air*. Get moving body!
Jesus: So what do we have now? We have a body that is sitting around in silent meditation, praying for some sort of intervention but not doing anything. So again, what is prayer? WHAT IS PRAYER!
Jesus: *stops, sighs* Look, did you guys eat breakfast this morning? Me, I like to get some nice eggs and bacon…(don’t tell mom about the pork) really gets me going… Ya’ll need to wake up… but I digress.
Jesus: I’ll tell you what it is. It is a call to action. Prayer is a call to right wrongs, to make manifest dreams, to inspire, to act. When you pray, and you can pray for sure, you are concentrating on making manifest a dream. You are perhaps inspiring others to make it manifest. You are spreading an idea. You are inviting change. You are infecting others and yourself with your desire.
Jesus: And who answers these prayers? Anyone? Who is it that answers prayers. There is only one person that answers prayers. There is only one end to a prayer. WHO!?
Jesus: Wake up, People!
Jesus: You are the answer to the prayer. You are all the answer, my answer, each one individually. You answer the prayers, because you are my body. You are my arms. You are my legs. You are my sole force of action and goodness in this world. If you don’t do it, nobody will, if you don’t get out off your asses and make something happen, nothing happens. Nobody will grow those limbs, nobody will save that child, nobody will cry for justice. You say that God is an angry God, that God doesn’t care, that how could a person believe in a God that could allow such misery and suffering in this world, that the horrible arbitrary things that happen in this world are just that… horrible and arbitrary. What a cruel fate, to have been cast out into all this misery. Oh boo-hoo, get over the wailing and gnashing of teeth. It’s easy to criticize – hardest thing to do in the world is to create.
Jesus: *whispering* But, my brothers and sisters*, you have the power. You have the ability to ease suffering. You have the ability to right the injustices. You have it. You see, prayer isn’t an end in and of itself. Prayer is simply a beginning. Prayer is call to action. I’m praying for you all now. I’m praying that one of you will find a way to grow back an amputated limb.
Jesus: Oh will you look at that, my leg fell asleep. *stomps it on the floor* Oo, that smarts. Needles.