I don’t know that I was born feet first but I sure had a hard time learning not to spell "saw" with a ‘w’ instead of an ‘s’. "Now" stared with a ‘w’ and "ton" started with an ‘n’. Mother thought I was lazy and I thought I saw -I mean I was- just dumb. My memory tells me that was the greatest problem I faced in Miss Penland’s first grade class. I’m not sure that saw was the first word I had trouble with but it is the one I remember- most vividly. You can’t imagine how difficult it was to spell Gordy with a ‘d’ instead of a ‘b’. And embarrassing.
Yet it was not my first battle with what I now know as dyslexia. Although that diagnosis was not invented back in the olden days when I started to school. If the intellectuals over at the university knew about it, the terminology had not made it all the way to the end of the pavement where Edgewood school was built.
My first remembered battle with that wrong-ended dragon was in trying to determine which seat to put the driver in my toy jeep. I must not have been over 3 or 4 years old. In frustration, Mother finally took a red crayon and drew a circle around the hole on the left side. Learning to drive in England and Papua New Guinea -on the ‘other’ side of the road still gives me more fits than the average American.
As I read I Thessalonians 5:23 this morning I realized that even my prayer life has been dyslexic. "And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ."
I am dyslexic praying, at least in my practice of prayer. My default order in prayer is for bodily, physical needs first. By God’s instructions, these things should come at the end of the list. The only reason I should pray for my own good health is that I might be free from distractions and hindrances in the spiritual ministry for which Lord has saved me.
So that is the order in which I tried hard to pray for those on my list this morning. And it was a challenge. It will probably be a challenge the rest of my life. It appears that, just a I was physically born with a learning problem, I was re-born with a spiritual problem as well. I still get it backwards.
And here’s a sneaking suspicion. If we, the church, would re-order our praying according to I Thessalonians 5:23, we would be forced to go back to the old-fashioned Wednesday night prayer meetings – and then add a few more in the week as well. If we really prayed for each others’ spiritual needs as much as we do ‘my cousin’s ingrown toenails’ or even ____’s (fill in the blank) cancer or heart attack there would be some changes made!
And here’s another suspicion. Praying for each other’s spiritual needs has become so out of practice it now comes in the category of "unspoken" if it comes at all.
Lord, help me get my praying in the proper order. And help those who pray for me, adjust the same way.