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“Exactly as I Remember It” Excerpt

November 6, 2012

Persistence in Prayer

(Pinckneyville, Illinois, circa 1971)

 

As a child, I felt persistence was the single most important thing about prayer.  When I prayed I was not double minded; my request (I mean petition) was clear and unambiguous.  In the summer of 1971, Reaban’s Restaurant (a sticky seated hamburger joint that reeked of grease and cigarette smoke) held a drawing for a free bicycle.  She was a beauty!  Somehow my nine year old brain became convinced God was going to give me that bicycle.  After all, God made dad be a preacher and had afflicted me with both freckles and abnormally large teeth.  God owed me that bike.  I prayed every day for that bike and then one day we went into Reaban’s and…the bike was gone.  Somebody had won it; probably some kid all the girls liked whose dad didn’t have to be a preacher.  I learned that day that no matter how much you pray, if you want a bicycle you are probably going to have to work for it and that if God ever called me to be a preacher, I wasn’t going to be of the “name it, claim it” kind.

 

 

 

About the Author

Named a Distinguished Evangelist of the United Methodist Church, Shane L. Bishop is the Senior Pastor of Christ Church in Fairview Heights, Illinois.  He resides in Belleville, Illinois with his wife Melissa.

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