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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