Prayer Warrior Bombards Heaven With Unspoken Requests
Every church has a grandma prayer warrior. Sister Ella Jean Potter is that prayer warrior for Paducah Missionary Baptist Church. For 51 years she has taken the pastor's prayer list after the Sunday morning service and prayed over it throughout the week.
She has seen God do some great things over the years. People have been healed of cancer, relationships have been restored, and addictions have been broken. But something interesting has happened over the last few years. Sister Ella Jean spends most of her prayer time praying for nothing. On any given Sunday, 95% of the prayer requests she gets from the pastor are 'unspoken requests.'
"It has changed the way I pray," says Potter. "I used to pray a lot of specific prayers like, 'God, please touch the Sanders family. Give them strength as they deal with the loss of a job. And please guide Mr. Sanders to the work that will bring him fulfillment and support his family.' Then in a couple of weeks we had the answer and were able to rejoice about it. Now I spend a lot of time praying, 'God, please help somebody with something. Amen.' I know that God knows everything, but it seems like I am putting the Lord to the test every time I pray. I don't feel like I'm going into spiritual battle anymore. I feel like I am playing 'pin the prayer on the donkey."
The testimony time has now become like the prayer request time at Paducah MBC. When the pastor opens it up for praise reports, there are a lot of, "God did something about something. He's so good," reports. He affirms the generic praise by saying, "An unspoken prayer request deserves an unspoken praise."
On a side note, Sister Ella Jean says that while the shift toward unspoken requests has made her prayer time more difficult, it has curbed the problem of gossip in the church. "Now a gossip circle consists of, 'Did you know that sister Jones has something going on in her life?' to which another respond, 'No. What is it?' Someone else will say, 'We don't know. She won't say.' And then you hear a room full of, 'Ooooohs' and 'Ahhhs.'"