Every Sunday, our pastor or associate pastors asks congregants to share their prayers of concern. We raise our hand and they wander the aisle. Mom is having hip surgery this week. The teen group is traveling to camp and we ask for a safe trip. Cousin was diagnosed with cancer.
Prayers of joy come next. Our son's birthday is Tuesday. Aunt is home from the hospital. Local football team won the game. (This is Louisiana, people.)
For those too shy or private to publicly state their prayer requests, prayer cards are available. Fill them out and the Monday morning prayer group reads them and prays for the concern. They don't need to know the names because God does.
After church service ends, we file out to be greeted by the pastor or associate pastor. Today, I chitchatted with folks while waiting for the the woman in front of me to finish talking with the Rev. The line is not the place to initiate conversations, just say hello or good sermon or have a good week. That's not what I heard.
"Please keep them in your prayers. They need all they can get. Right now they are living on the beach in a tent. They've been there all week. We're trying to get them with us. The family moved here for a job situation and things haven't worked out like they wanted."
(Living in a tent? On the beach? This was the coldest weekend we'll probably have this year! It snowed on Friday!)
Prayers of joy, find that tent soon.