Are they playing or praying?

We could have Sunday School at a casino card table.

Opening bid: “My Dad’s Having Surgery Tomorrow. Please keep him in your prayers.”

Raise: “I’ll see your Dad’s Having Surgery and raise you My Neighbor Might Have a Brain Tumor.”

Raise: “I’ll see your Brain Tumor and raise you My Husband’s Boss Is Seeing Spots and COULD DIE.”

Call: “Oh yeah well I read on the Internet Where This Baby Was Born With Two Heads And One Has Celiac And The Other Has A Peanut Allergy.”

Seriously, it feels like we play prayer request poker sometimes. This can go on for 15 minutes and can seem only slightly less absurd than the facetious fiction above.

Do we apply our competitive Swim Team-Soccer Camp-Ballet Recital mindset to spiritual matters? Do we want to seem more caring and concerned than anyone else? Or is lobbing a constant barrage of prayer requests a way of drawing attention to ourselves?

Let us pray. In silent, for a change.