I’m a bit obsessed with lists. I keep a list of every book I’ve read, my to-do list is legendary and I even have a list of all the guys I’ve ever…TMI. Sorry kids. Just kidding Mom. So, after I read a great post by blogger David Wilensky of The Reform Shuckle website, I added it to the Excel spreadsheet we keep of potential partners for Prayables. Here’s our process: Each day, Amanda, Ed, and I, reach out to five websites on the list to tell them about Prayables and offer to promote their website in exchange for a mention of Prayables on theirs. This isn’t a money proposition; it’s just a little guerilla marketing.

On Thursday July 15, David from The Reform Shuckle granted our request. Prayables was the topic of his entire blog post over one thousand words, and it’s titled: He hated us, and as the saying goes; ripped us another a-hole! It’s a good read and there were even a few reader comments that hated us too.

Here’s a few of David’s observations:
I was planning on sending back a simple no thanks, but this has me a little grossed out. Customized, cross-promotional internet prayers? That’s taking the partnership between technology, spirituality and marketing a one or two steps too far.

First, that’s not even a prayer! It’s a poem, a meditation, at best…In other news, we don’t all believe in a “divine spirit above!” Don’t tell anyone, but not every woman in the world is a monotheist. So much for their ecumenicism, I guess.

I’ve got a few beefs with this spiritual nonsense peddling. First, I’ll reiterate how gross it is to specialize prayers for the purposes of marketing… Second, I’m sick and tired of the idea that all religions are the same. Judeo-Christian is a bullshit term that usually means Christian. Prayables says, “Women of all faiths share the same values.” If that was true, they’d all be the same religion! Every religion is profoundly different from the next and that’s okay. Understanding these differences is key and claiming that they aren’t there usually leads to the claim that Christian values are universal. And third, their poetry sucks.

I fired back my own comment:
Hi David, thanks for blogging about Prayables. We’re new and you’re our first! You’re hearing from (get ready to cringe) Chief of Pray. I’m the one who suggested Amanda ask you to partner. Fair enough – she could have found a better adjective then ‘lovely’ for your site, but honestly...I’d bet she didn’t even look at the site before emailing my request. I’m unilaterally declaring a blog war. Watch for my post on Monday. This is very exciting for us chicks to explain to the roosters who don’t get how a woman prays!

And back comes a volley from David:
Well, I’m all for a blog war. But I’m getting a little tired of the “way women [insert verb here]” nonsense. Some people pray spontaneously, some within rigid structure and some with goofy poetry. But I don’t think it falls along gender lines.

It’s Monday, and as I sit down to engage in blog warfare, I realized I’m not really that into it. I wasn’t even angry to begin with. I understand how someone could misunderstand good intentions and disagree with a commercial approach to funding a prayer movement. I’ve made the same assumptions David does when he equates ecumenical as code for Christian. I agree that all religions are not the same. I’m on board with the notion that all women don’t fit into neat categories of same tastes and equivalent inclinations. And, I duly note David’s opinion that our poetry (prayers) suck, but with the caveat that Prayables are not written for him. Yet, I do believe that Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus. We have different issues, emotions, and we typically we don't express ourselves in the same way as men.  I do believe that women of all faiths share the same values. And, I believe with all my heart, prayer is the experience of being connected to God rather than the words or the way we pray. One last shout out to David Wilensky and The Reform Shuckle: Keep on changing, swaying, and shaking up the status quo with your insight on prayer. We need more voices speaking out in defense of prayer. We need more voices engaged in prayer.

I feel as though I am at
everyone's beck and call.
I am surrounded
by a chorus of needs
and I cannot hear myself anymore.  
I cannot hear You.  

I want to give to my family,
to my friends, to my coworkers.  
But there is only so much of me.  
Please burst through the crowd.  
Quiet the cacophony.
Make Your voice the only one I hear.

Show me the needs of my loved ones
and tell me how to help.  
Show me my own needs
and teach me how to protect them.  
Show me how to support my friends and family
without always saying "yes."

And when I lie down at the end of the day,
please bring me the satisfaction of knowing
I had a day of good choices,
enabling me to come closer to being the woman I want to be
for myself, for my loved ones, and for You.

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