Tuesday, October 27, 2009

#86-Praying Through

"Praying through" is one of many Apostolic terms that makes zero sense outside of the Apostolic world. Imagine chatting with one of your unchurched colleagues about it on a Monday afternoon during your lunch break:

Colleague: So, how was your weekend? Susan and I went to a friend's house on the lake. It was lovely.

You: Let me tell you, this weekend was awesome. My old buddy Bill hadn't darkened the church doors for years now. Well, last night --

Colleague: (interrupting, with a quizzical expression) You have church on Sunday night?

You: (laughing sheepishly) Yeah, we do. (attempting a bit of humor) We do things the old school way, you know, keep the Sabbath day holy! Hee, hee.

Colleague: (narrowing eyes suspiciously) I thought the Sabbath was actually on Saturday. I know a guy, Abraham ben Judah, he's a Jew you know, and he goes to his synagogue --

You: (getting annoyed) Okay, but we're getting off the subject. I was just going to tell you how great my weekend was since my old buddy Bill prayed through at the altar last night. Boy, it was a humdinger of a service. The power of God moved like you'd never seen--

Colleague: (interrupting again) Wait a minute, did you just say he "prayed through"?

You: (taking a bite of your sandwich, answering hesitantly) Yeah . . .

Colleague: (confused) But what the heck does that mean? He prayed. Okay, I get that. But "prayed through"? Prayed through what? Dude, you're not making any sense.

You: Well, the Holy Ghost . . . see . . . okay. Like, speaking in tongues (observing your colleague's eyes grow wide) . . . ummm. All right, it's like after you haven't prayed in a while, and then you go up to the altar and get really emotional . . . you know what I mean?

Colleague: I'm not getting it.

This is, of course, an imaginary example, but nevertheless one that illustrates the conundrum we as Apostolics face when attempting to use an Apostolic term in mainstream, secular conversation.

Praying Through, In a Nutshell
Apostolics like praying through. The most commonly held definition is the following:

to pray through v. -- To go up to the altar and speak in tongues after not having made any public displays of doing so in the amount of time sufficiently deemed such to "grow cold in the Lord."

If you're an observer to one praying through, it gives you a warm and fuzzy assurance that someone you felt was wayward or "growing cold in the Lord" (another one of our terms) is back on the straight and narrow. If you're the praythroughee, it gives you the warm and fuzzy assurance that not only are you back on the straight and narrow and sufficiently warmed up in the Lord, but that everyone else who would walk up to you and mysteriously say "We're praying for you" is now assured as well and can stop praying for you with such concern.

Don't get me wrong. Praying through is fantastic. I've been both the observer and the praythroughee. Assurance is good for you and all concerned parties. But let's only use the term amongst ourselves to avoid bewildering those unfamiliar with our lingo.


  1. Your concise definition of praying through has broken new ground in defining what most of us would rather not define because we claim it is too sacred.

    The rest of humanity (myself included) thanks you for your work, and you should be receiving a letter from Webster's dictionary soon.

  2. HAHAHA!!! Soooo I was reading this post and was like hmmm...not really sure what to think...then I kept reading and I was like WOW!!! It doesn't seem to have that twisted sarcasm that Joel usually has...maybe he is toning it down?!?! LOL Then I saw it was posted by Chantell!!
    HAHAHA!!! Joel you def have your OWN style!!!:)