Prayer-Walk Your Mall

August 6, 2006

mannequins

Yesterday I went to our local fancy shopping mall. I parked on the side closest to the store I was visiting, purchased the item I wanted, and was about to head back to my car… when I was stopped by the inner Voice:

I want you to return to your car the long way. Walk the other direction and loop around, and pray.

So I did. These are the things I saw and prayed about:

  • It took effort to notice the people, because all the STUFF clamored for my attention.
  • There were different kinds of people, and different groups of people. Each has their own story.
  • Our stories are subtly but powerfully shaped by our culture, but culture is usually invisible, like air. How was the mall experience shaping each person there?
  • The STUFF wants to convince me that I need this, or that, to have a good life. I must be beautiful, sexy, powerful and exciting. I must be successful.
  • Tyler Durden is shouting in my ear, “You are not the contents of your wallet!” (But unlike Tyler, God says that I am unique and beautiful. So is that person over there.)
  • Marketing of the STUFF seems to fall into the classic three temptations: money, sex and power. Which ultimately is about power.
  • Is this why Jesus calls us to be weak? To subvert the dominant paradigm?
  • The STUFF twists our relationships into transactions. What do I have to give you to get what I want?
  • What is the “economy” of God? To give freely, with nothing expected in return?
  • Servant evangelism then becomes not a marketing gimmick, but an essential demonstration of who God is—not just to those who receive, but also to those who give.
  • So we can honestly say, “We are students of Jesus. We’re doing this assignment to learn that God’s love is free.”

Jon Reid

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As an American missionary kid who grew up in Japan, I'm a child of two cultures, while not fully belonging to either. This gives me a sightly different view of the world.

2 responses to Prayer-Walk Your Mall

  1. The things you own end up owning you

  2. Heavy duty. Glad that you were obedient to the voice of the Spirit! I am absolutely certain that we often WAY underestimate the power of prayer. Tear down that demonic stronghold, brother! 😉