Pray Without Sneezing

A couple of nights ago, I dreamed I was telling a joke to some people around a table at a place that was kind of like the UALR student center, and that was the punch line: “Pray without sneezing.”

In the dream, everyone seemed to think it was pretty funny. I wish I could remember what the joke was.

I can tell you that the punch line has its origin in 1 Thessalonians 5:17 (“pray continually”; “pray without ceasing,” KJV), which is Paul’s practice two chapters earlier (“Night and day we pray …” ~ 1 Thessalonians 3:10 as well as in his other letter to them: “…we constantly pray …” ~ 2 Thessalonians 1:11).

But I think there’s a worthy principle in the idea of praying without sneezing, and it’s no joke.

When we sneeze and we’re around people, we almost expect someone to say, “Bless you!”

Maybe – even if just for Lent – we should pray without expecting to be blessed, or even asking for it. Perhaps instead of praying for ourselves, we should pray for others for a season.

And let the blessings fall where they may.

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