Jul 30, 2007

prayers and such

Now I lay me down to sleep

I pray the lord my soul to keep

If I should die before I wake

I pray the Lord....

Ok, hold up. Just one dang minute here! I being the tender age of six or so, and having been chased off to bed by my mother telling me, "Don't forget to say your damned prayers, either! You don't want to go to hell do you?"

It was pretty much a given that, no, I did not want to go to hell. From everything I heard about it, the place seemed pretty hot, what with a lake of fire and all, and my sister said there was not much to do except shovel coal, and I imagined there would probably be alot of mean folks just waiting for the chance to give me a good slapping. So, its safe to say, hell was not my destination of choice. I said my prayers dutifully. I always faltered when I got to that part, "if I should die before I wake". Suddenly, I was consumed with all sorts of terrors, to go along with all the other terrors that populated my night time world. Along with my mother's nightly rounds through the house, and discussions and screaming matches with people who weren't there, now I had to wonder whether I could die sometime in the night while I was asleep, and not even know it. How in the world could I stop this from happening. I didn't want to die. A little sleep was all I wanted. A few nice dreams would have been a bonus. Should I just stay awake and make sure I kept breathing?

Today, I wonder who in the world wrote that prayer for little children! It does end nicely, I suppose, with, "I pray the lord my soul to take", because most children, well, at least of my generation, weren't laying in bed hoping against hope that if they died, please oh please, let the devil take me! Please! That's usually what our Grandma's told us. I really have to say that now that I am an adult, I think that the person who wrote that seemingly sweet little prayer was in fact a demented sadist, who disliked children immensely. Maybe he had a bunch of the little buggers of his own, I don't know, but those words, "if I should die before I wake" caused me more than one sleepless night.

And, now, to change gears, so to speak, a little something a friend sent me that I would like to share with you.

3-year-old Reese:
"Our Father, Who does art in heaven, Harold is His name.
A little boy was overheard praying:
"Lord, if you can't make me a better boy, don't worry about it.
I'm having a real good time like I am."
After the christening of his baby brother in church,
Jason sobbed all the way home in the back seat of the car.
His father asked him three times what was wrong.
Finally, the boy replied,
"That preacher said he wanted us brought up in a Christian home,
and I wanted to stay with you guys."
One particular four-year-old prayed,
"And forgive us our trash baskets
as we forgive those who put trash in our baskets."
A Sunday school teacher asked her children
as they were on the way to church service,
"And why is it necessary to be quiet in church?"
One bright little girl replied,
"Because people are sleeping?"
A mother was preparing pancakes for her sons, Kevin 5, and Ryan 3.
The boys began to argue over who would get the first pancake.
Their mother saw the opportunity for a moral lesson.
"If Jesus were sitting here, He would say,
'Let my brother have the first pancake, I can wait.'
Kevin turned to his younger brother and said, "Ok, Ryan, you be Jesus!"
A father was at the beach with his children
when the four-year-old son ran up to him,
grabbed his hand, and led him to the shore
where a seagull lay dead in the sand.
"Daddy, what happened to him?" the son asked.
"He died and went to Heaven," the Dad replied.
The boy thought a moment and then said,
"Did God throw him back down?"
A wife invited some people to dinner.
At the table, she turned to their six-year-old daughter and said,
"Would you like to say the blessing?"
"I dunno what to say," the girl replied.
"Just say what you hear Mommy say," the wife answered.
The daughter bowed her head and said,
"Lord, why on earth did I invite all these people to dinner?"
The preacher was wired for sound with a lapel mike,
and as he preached, he moved briskly about the platform,
jerking the mike cord as he went.
Then he moved to one side, getting wound up in the cord
and nearly tripping before jerking it again.
After several circles and jerks,
a little girl in the third pew leaned toward her mother and whispered,
"If he gets loose, will he hurt us?"
A Sunday school class was studying the Ten Commandments.
They were ready to discuss the last one.
The teacher asked if anyone could tell her what it was.
Susie raised her hand, stood tall, and quoted,
"Thou shall not take the covers off the neighbor's wife."
Church Bulletins: Beware
  • "Remember in prayer the many who are sick of our church and community."
  • "Don't let worry kill you -- let the church help."
  • "For those of you who have children and don't know it, we have a nursery downstairs."
  • "The rosebud on the altar this morning is to announce the birth of David Alan B----r, the sin of Rev. and Mrs. Julius B----r."
  • "This afternoon there will be a meeting in the South and North ends of the church. Children will be baptized at both ends."
  • "Life groups meet on Wednesday evening at 7:00 PM for food, fun, and fellowwhipping."
  • "The Fasting & Prayer Conference includes meals."
  • The sermon this morning: "Jesus Walks on the Water." The sermon tonight: "Searching for Jesus."

  • "Eight new choir robes are currently needed due to the addition of several new members and to the deterioration of some older ones."
  • "The ladies of the Church have cast off clothing of every kind. They may be seen in the basement on Friday afternoon."
A preacher was completing a temperance sermon:
with great expression he said, "If I had all the beer in the world, I'd take it and throw it into the river."

With even greater emphasis, he said, "And if I had all the wine in the world, I'd take it and throw it into the river."

And then, finally, he said, "And if I had all the whiskey in the world, I'd take it and throw it into the river." He sat down.

The song leader then stood very cautiously and announced with a nervous glance toward the preacher, "For our closing song, let us sing Hymn #365:
'Shall We Gather At the River.'"


SJ said...

Yep some people like to scare the shit out kids with religion.

And was LOL at all the jokes.

Scott from Oregon said...

Thank God I am an anti-religionist...

Here's one- the son of a preacher burying a hamster in the yard of a friend-- "And of the father, and the son, and into the hole he goes..."

Babzy said...

Loved the jokes. My favourite is the pancake story "You be Jesus". But they're all terrific.

I, too, was scared to go to sleep in case I died. That prayer single-handedly taught me how to be brave even while my knees were knocking together.

Just thought I'd stop in and say HI on my way to the beach. Have a good day, my friend.

alphonsedamoose said...

You're right, that one line is terrible.

Loved the jokes.

just me said...

I remember when Travis was about 5, and our dog Mary killed a rat in one of our sheds. I decided we should give it a proper burial. So we dug a small hole, laid the dead rat in it, covered it up, and I said, Travis, let's say a prayer for this poor dead rat. And he said, "No way, mama!! That rat is going straight to the devil!"

All I could do was laugh.

just me said...

My late sister's church wanted to have a free medicine day. They actually wanted members to bring in unused bottles of medicine for the less fortunate in the community.

I just looked at her and said, You know there's going to be a rush on the painkillers, right?

Anne said...

I always hated that scary prayer.

The kid stories and stuff were cute. Thanks for the laugh. :)

singleton said...

Oh, I know that spooky little prayer, I remember getting all confused over the keep and take bit, reciting it over and over again, Am I suppose to keep my soul or what? Chilling the things children are taught...

Mariamariacuchita said...

Hi. Wandered in from another blog...nice place.
I always hated that part of the prayer too....

eric313 said...

You evoke the feelings of childhood hopes dreams and prayers with this. My family was very religious, so it hit me very firmly in the the old memories.

Love the preacher bit at the end. I've met a few people at the redwine river overflowing! Wonderful posts, as always. You you go deep for the emotions, but keep us laughing at the same time.
Peace out