RIVERDALE Church are an ardent band of prayer warriors. We pray vehemently, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (collectively, not individually) so you might say we’re a pretty hardcore bunch.
Think of your church as a computer hard drive. Your prayers are the “firewall” that protect it from being corrupted by a dodgy/malicious malware thing. It only takes one file (or person) to become infected and the aforementioned virus spreads like butter when it’s been left out of the fridge all night.
You’ve probably heard the old saying “one bad apple spoils the bunch” well this computer analogy is the modern day equivalent. So we pray not only for the church collective but also for each member individually. Remember, Christians aren’t The Borg from Star Trek: The Next Generation, we’re all unique individuals, each one with different needs and emotional baggage.
We’ve all seen what happens when a member of CTU goes maverick in 24. Everything falls to pieces, and puts Jack Bauer in quite a pickle. Remember **** from Season One? (We’ve disguised her name to avoid spoilers, although if you haven’t watched the first season of 24 yet then you really need to get it together)
Some Riverdalers might recall church member Graham Sanders (chap with the long white beard, later changed his name to Gandalf) who started selling bootleg Lord of the Rings merchandise at the back of the church during worship. DVDS, CDs, books, hoodies, etc. After six months things spiralled out of control and the service became more like a scene from Middle Earth. Then one Sunday morning we dropped “Amazing Grace” in favour of “The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins” and things went downhill from there.
At one point I found myself in a meeting with senior church members who were suggesting we forget about God, throw the Bible out the window and focus on the writings of J. R. R. Tolkien. Two days later I was searching GoDaddy for the domain name rivendellchurch.co.uk. That’s how bad things became!
Why? Because we weren’t praying for folk. We’d taken our eyes off the metaphorical ball and we paid the price. Only God knows where Graham/Gandalf is today… Literally. He died re-enacting a scene from The Fellowship of the Ring at the church picnic back in 2010. Although thankfully the horse survived.
In 2011 we published The Gandalf Report, which highlighted where we went wrong as a church and the measures that needed to be taken to ensure we didn’t go down that pathway again. Yes, we strayed slightly when The Hobbit was released, but I was able to reign in the troops and cancel the DVD showing of The Desolation of Smaug on a Sunday morning.
We must now pray for Billy “The Wolfman” Smith, who has developed a worrying penchant for horror films from the 1940s. He appears to have formed an alliance with the pale guy who occasionally joins us for Tuesday night prayer group. I’ve never caught his name, but Billy always refers to him as “The Count”.
My suspicions were roused when, during Pastor’s Question Time, The Count asked me how many virgins we have in the church. It’s obvious that there’s trouble brewing, so I’d just like folk to pray for the situation before things escalate.
Remember, a pray a day keeps the enemy at bay.
That’s grammatically incorrect but it’s catchy and it rhymes, so it must be true.