It’s a Sunday evening, the time is 630pm. It’s raining in Melbourne CBD and i’m coming from church. I cross the traffic lights. I’m walking towards the tram stop and all of a sudden I hear someone say “you’re so fast, it’s hard to keep up with you.” I look back and there’s two women behind me on either side and I reply “I want to catch that tram coming.” The lady on the right asks “are you coming from church?” to which i reply “yes I am.” She then asks “can we pray for you” and I respond “I’m really in a rush to catch that tram” and explain that tram is my only way home. The lady on the left volunteered to flag down the on coming tram for me. They were rather disappointed by my response. We then debate for a further two minutes about whether they could pray for me or not and i continue to stress that I couldn’t miss this tram as it was my only way home. I ask them “will you be at church next week?” to which they said “no” and in my head I say oh well. I then proceed to cross the traffic lights and one of the ladies then follows me to the tram to ask my name and I tell her. I get onto the tram, the doors close behind me and away I go. On the whole ride home, i was VERY ANNOYED that such an incident had taken place.
Ok you are probably thinking what is wrong with this child to turn down someone praying for them? I’m really not a fan of these “pity or sympathy” prayers as i call them. They, they being people who see me walking down the street minding my own business and they “pity” me and offer to “pray for me, to pray for me for healing.” Don’t get me wrong, there is absolutely nothing wrong with praying for someone or praying for healing but please just don’t come at me with that mentality. Last year I had a similar incident in Sydney at a church conference. A couple approached me and asked if they could pray for me, i said “yeah sure.” The husband then asked what was wrong with me to which i replied with a question of my own “wrong with regards to what?” This really caught them off guard because all they could say afterwards was “God bless you” and walked away.
I have encountered this countless times and whilst in the past I have obliged and had the people pray for me, now I know and understand that I don’t have to give into what people think just because I walk differently. They think there is something wrong with me-something I need to healing from. I really don’t know where this thinking comes from that people with disabilities are in need of healing. It paints the picture that “we’re not normal” that we are “sick” and need to be “healed.”
Yes I have a disability but no sir no ma’am I don’t want you to pray for me to be healed-I am not sick so please keep your pity or sympathy prayers to yourself.