Tag Archives: quid pro quo

Being Of Service—and in Prayer

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Tuesday, July 19, 2016


don't wait for people to be kind - show them

Being Of Service—and in Prayer

I took the opportunity to be of service today. In several ways.

Yes, I was a chauffeur for an acquaintance of mine. Driving around to several different places. Yes, it was needed. And yes, appreciated, too.

Then, several more ways of service. Too complex to go into now, but, yes. I did go out of my way to do a number of things, today.

I look upon this as being of service, or being helpful, or doing what I can with what I have. I don’t begrudge it! Certainly not.

Yet, I know several others who would begrudge it. The couple people I have in mind would never even think of doing such a thing. (Or, do them with a total quid pro quo attitude. You know, “I scratch your back, you scratch mine” sort of thing.)

How sad. They never can know the joy of helping someone simply for joy’s sake. Or, for grace’s sake. Or, for mercy’s sake. Not expecting to be paid back in some way, or for some sort of mental bidding or reciprocity contest.

Oh, and those several situations I dealt with, today? I prayed for them. The people involved, and God taking care of these situations. God be with them. All of them. (And, God be with those sad people who are not in a mental space to take the opportunity to help others.)


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Instant? Freeze-dried? Super-easy Prayer?

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – January 8, 2015

PRAY alphabet blocks

Instant? Freeze-dried? Super-easy Prayer?

Prayer is not quick. Not efficient. Not microwave-able. Not instant or freeze-dried. There is no super-quick, super-easy way to pray. Except by praying.

I could say similar things about true, deep relationships. Not quick, or efficient, not microwave-able or freeze-dried.

Yes, I know someone will tell me about a true, deep relationship they had or have, where the stars aligned, the heavens opened, and two people came together and instantly found their hearts beat as one. What Anne of Green Gables might call a “bosom friend” or a “kindred spirit.” God bless you if you have that! But in the great percentage of time, relationship is not instantaneous, not microwave-able. True, deep relationships take time.

What would you think if you had me for a friend, and all I wanted from you were things? Favors? Inside influence? Quid pro quo? You scratch my back, and I’ll scratch yours? I know that’s the way some relationships in this world are structured, but the subsequent relationship—the “friendship”—is not particularly true, deep, or intimate. True, deep relationships take time and trust.

I go back to my helpful prayer guide for January. Rev. Howell says, “Think about human relationships. What if I measured my marriage by whether my wife does stuff I want or not? If all I do is come to her with ‘Honey, do this, and honey, I want that,’ you would dismiss me as a stupid husband.”[1] Yet—how often do we come to God and do pretty much the same thing? The last thing in the world I want my dear, loving God to think is that the only reason I go to the Lord Almighty is like I would go to some cosmic vending machine or drink dispenser in the sky.

True, deep, intimate relationships take time, trust and love.

Dear God, help me continue to develop a true, intimate relationship with You. Please. And thank You.

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Why not visit my sister blog, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.

[1] James C. Howell, The Beautiful Work of Learning to Pray, Abingdon Press (Nashville, TN: 2003), 33.