Actors It requires one person who is the “pray-er” and someone else who is the voice of God, offstage.
Action Pray-er: “Our Father which art in heaven
Pray-er: Don’t interrupt me. I’m praying.
God: But you called me.
Pray-er: Called you? I didn’t call you. I’m praying. “Our Father which art in heaven . .
God: There, you did it again.
Pray-er: Did what?
God: Called me. You said, “Our Father which art in heaven.” Here I am. What’s on your mind?
Pray-er: But I didn’t mean anything by it. I was, you know, just saying my prayers for the day. I always say the Lord’s Prayer. It makes me feel good, you know, kind of like getting a duty done.
God: All right. Go on!
Pray-er: “Hallowed be thy name
… God: Hold it! What do you mean by that?
Pray-er: By what?
God: By “Hallowed be thy name?”
Pray-er: It means … it means … Good grief! I don’t know what it means! How should I know? It’s just part of the prayer. By the way, what does it mean?
God: It means honored, holy, wonderful.
Pray-er: Hey, that makes sense. I never thought what “hallowed” meant before. “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”
God: Do you really mean that?
Pray-er: Sure, why not?
God: What are you doing about it?
Pray-er: Doing? Nothing, I guess. I just think it would be kind of neat if you got control of everything down here like you have up there.
God: Have I got control of you?
Pray-er: Well, I go to church.
God: That isn’t what I asked you. What about that habit of lying you have? And your temper? You’ve really got a problem there, you know. And then there’s the way you spend your money—all on yourself. And what about the kinds of books you read?
Pray-er: Stop picking on me! I’m just as good as some of the rest of those people—those phonies—at church!
God: Excuse me! I thought you were praying for my will to be done. If that is to happen, it will have to start with the ones who are praying for it. Like you, for example.
Pray-er: Oh, all right. I guess I do have some problems, some hang-ups. Now that you mention it, I could probably name some others.
God: So could I.
Pray-er: I haven’t thought about it very much until now, but I really would like to cut out some of those things. I would like to, you know, be really free.
God: Good! Now we are getting somewhere. We’ll work together, you and I. Some victories can truly be won. I’m proud of you!
Pray-er: Look, Lord! I need to finish up here. This is taking a lot longer than it usually does. “Give us this day, our daily bread.”
God: You need to cut out some of that “bread.” You’re overweight as it is.
Pray-er: Hey, wait a minute! What is this, Criticize-Me Day? Here I was, doing my religious duty, and all of a sudden you break in and remind me of all my problems and shortcomings.
God: Praying is a dangerous thing. You could wind up changed, you know. That’s what I’m trying to get across to you. You called me, and here I am. It’s too late to stop now. Keep on praying. I’m interested in the next part of your prayer. (pause) Well, go on!
Pray-er: I’m afraid to.
God: Afraid? Afraid of what?
Pray-er: I know what you’ll say next.
God: Try me and see.
Pray-er: “Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.”
God: What about Joe?
Pray-er: I knew it! See, I knew you would bring him up! Why, Lord, he’s told lies about me, and cheated me out of some money, and is the biggest phoney around. He never paid back that debt he owes me. I’ve sworn to get even with him and then never associate with him again!
God: But your prayer! What about your prayer?
Pray-er: I didn’t mean it.
God: Well, at least you’re honest. But it’s not much fun carrying that load of bitterness around inside you, is it?
Pray-er: No, but I’ll feel better as soon as I get even.
Boy, have I got some plans for old Joe! He’ll wish he never did me any harm.
God: You won’t feel any better. You’ll only feel worse. Revenge isn’t sweet. Think of how unhappy you are already. But I can change all that.
Pray-er: You can? How?
God: Forgive Joe. Then the hate and sin will be Joe’s problem, not yours. You may lose the money, but you will have settled your heart.
Pray-er: But Lord, I can’t forgive Joe.
God: Then, how do you expect me to forgive you?
Pray-er: Oh, you’re right! You always are! And more than I want revenge on Joe, I need to be right with you. All right, I forgive him. Lord, you help him to find the right road in life. He’s bound to be awfully miserable now that I think about it. Anybody who goes around doing the things he does has to be out of it. Some way, somehow, show him the right way. Maybe you can even help me to help him?
God: There now! Wonderful! How do you feel?
Pray-er: H’m! Well, not bad. Not bad at all. In fact, I feel pretty great! You know, I don’t think I’ll have to go to bed uptight tonight for the first time since I can remember. Maybe I won’t be so tired from now on because I’m not getting enough rest.
God: You’re not through with your prayer. Go on!
Pray-er: Oh, all right. “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”
God: Good! Good! I’ll do that. Just don’t put yourself in a place where you can be tempted.
Pray-er: What do you mean by that?
God: Change some of your friendships. Some of your so-called friends are beginning to get to you. Don’t be fooled! They advertise that they’re having fun, but for you it could be ruin. Either you are going to have to stop being with them or start being a positive influence on their lives. Don’t you use me as an escape hatch!
Pray-er: I don’t understand.
God: Sure you do. You’ve done it a lot of times. You get caught in a bad situation. You get into trouble by not listening to me, and then once you do, you come running to me, saying, “Lord, help me out of this mess, and I promise you I’ll never do it again.” You remember some of those bargains you tried to make with me, don’t you?
Pray-er: Yes I do, and I’m ashamed, Lord. I really am.
God: Which bargain are you remembering?
Pray-er: Well, when the woman next door saw me coming out of that X-rated movie with my friends. I’d told my mother we were going to the mall. I remember telling you, “Oh, God, don’t let her tell my mother where I’ve been.” I promised to be in church every Sunday.
God: She didn’t tell your mother, but you didn’t keep your promise, did you?
Pray-er: I’m sorry, Lord, I really am. Up until now, I thought that if I just prayed the Lord’s Prayer every day, then I could do what I liked. I didn’t expect anything like this to happen.
God: Go ahead and finish your prayer!
Pray-er: “For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.”
God: Do you know what would bring me glory? What would make me really happy?
Pray-er: No, but I’d like to know. I want to please you. I know what a difference it can make in my life. I can see what a mess I’ve made of my life, and I can see how great it would be to be really one of your followers.
God: You just answered my question.
Pray-er: I did?
God: Yes. The thing that would bring me glory is to have people like you truly love me. And I see that happening between us now. Now that these old sins are exposed and out of the way, well, there’s no telling what we can do together.
Pray-er: Lord, let’s see what we can make of me and my life, O.K.?
God: Yes, let’s see!