Chattering Mind

Chattering Mind

The Promiscuous Pray-er

by Dr. Susan Corso

All right, I’ll admit it. I had a reputation in seminary. They called me The Promiscuous Pray-er, which meant… she’ll pray with anyone anywhere any time about anything. It was true then, and it’s true now.

How I got this reputation is an interesting story. I had discovered the power of prayer when I studied at Unity School of Christianity. I was someone who prayed—for myself, for others, for our planet, for anything. Then when I went to a traditional seminary, I decided to take a class on the history of prayer just to learn its traditions.

The first day of class, we were sitting in a horseshoe table arrangement, and the professor asked everyone why they were taking his class. Reasonable. As it turned out, he started at the opposite end of the horseshoe from me. I would be the last one to answer the question.


Let me give you a little more detail. This was a “liberal,” denominationalist seminary [which, for reasons which will become obvious, shall remain nameless] wherein more than 90% of the students were working pastors. They had their own “charges,” that-particular-denomination-speak for parishes, and that meant congregations unto whom they were to minister. To a person, the 29 working pastors in the room, save me, answered the professor’s question in the same way, “I want to learn to pray with my people.”

If you’ve had a chance to visit my own blog, you know I’m a redhead. What they say about temper and redheads is true of me. Long fuse, but when it blows, yikes. When it was my turn to answer my unsuspecting professor’s opening query, I turned away from him and toward my peers and bellowed at them, “What do you tell ‘your people’ now when they ask for prayer?”


They were used to me by then, so one of them just mildly folded his hands and said piously, “I tell them I’ll keep them in my prayers.”

“And do you?” my inquisition continued. Then the hemming and hawing and sudden shuffling of feet began. I said, now quietly, “I’m appalled.” Then I turned to our professor who was even more appalled, “I’m in this class to learn the history of prayer and new types of prayer. I already pray.”

The squirming settled down a bit, there was a beat and the professor asked me if I would pray for the class. Aloud. I did, and that day I became The Promiscuous Pray-er. I will pray with anyone anywhere any time about anything. From then on, a day didn’t come or go in seminary that some peer or other didn’t come to me and ask for prayer.


Why are people afraid to pray? The excuses are legion, and it really doesn’t matter. If you’re afraid to pray, get someone to pray with you. There’s always The Promiscuous Pray-er.

Let me add here that even if you’re not a praying type, my suggestion still applies. We all need help sometimes to see, think and feel more clearly. It doesn’t have to be called prayer.
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posted May 25, 2007 at 2:57 pm

Very interesting indeed. I’m a pray-er. People ask me sometime to say a prayer for them. I do. I’ve come to a realization along time ago that using my own words and feelings in prayer is far more effective and gets me closer to my source of power far better than using formalized prayer (ie “Our Father”). That revelation freed me and I’m a forever pray-er. It helps me to release my worries and gives them to a higher source to help out.

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posted May 26, 2007 at 8:04 am

Much, much better a “promiscuous pray-er” than an “promiscuous prey-er”. And of course “promiscuous prey-er” is a function now very much open to women; read the news. The only thing really dangerous about being a promiscuous pray-er is there may be a temptation to always say “yes” when someone ask you to pray for them, even if you won’t. Sometimes it is more honest to say “no” when asked by someone to pray for them; especially if we have no real intention to do so. Peace!

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posted May 26, 2007 at 6:42 pm

Mike, How hard can it be to pray for someone if you agree to pray for that person? Just say “God bless you! I pray for you!” and be done with it.

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posted May 27, 2007 at 5:27 am

Darma: I know, if you agree to pray for that person, you then pray for that person. Otherwise do not agree to pray for that person to just be polite. And of course we should be generous in our prayers. To this I would agree.

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posted May 29, 2007 at 3:37 am

Dr. Corso: Do silent prayers count? I’m a big believer that your thoughts can convey personal needs/wants for yourself as well as others. I pray to God, of course, but my thoughts remain open to the vagaries of daily life. I agree with Barb that they don’t have to be “formalized” prayers as taught in Sunday School – any positive feelings can be expressed as prayer. Of course, there are the consoling prayers, meant for comfort, as when someone is sick and asks for verbal prayer so they can “hear” the words, or during grief. But – I even “pray” for a good parking space when I go shopping!

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posted May 29, 2007 at 11:41 pm

I now do my own quasi – prayers for myself because the (rare) times I’ve asked others for help and prayer, inevitably I’ve been asked: “Are you saved?”, which by their translation means No, so I don’t get from them what I was needing. It’s just simpler to DIY. Cut out the middleman.

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