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The Manly Men of God 

No women allowed into the Promise Keepers, but that didn't stop Infiltrator from getting on the Prayer Team

Wednesday, Nov 16 2005

Page 5 of 5

"You know, maybe it's best if I pair up with someone so they can show me the ropes," I say, being I have no idea how it's done. I'm paired up with the tall, silver-haired man who looks like a Sunday school teacher. We're a team, like one of those crazy mismatched buddy cop movies with the hardened veteran and the rookie. A young, curly-haired man comes over to us as we escort him behind the Prayer Team curtain.

"What is it you want us to pray with you for tonight?"

The curly-haired man is unsure how to express it in words.

"Is it pornography?" blurts the Sunday school teacher in a low voice.

"Yeah, pornography," I repeat more sternly, playing the bad cop in our Prayer Team situation.

"No," replies the curly-haired guy.

"Is it homosexuality?" I blurt in a more accusing manner, taking another stab at it.

"No!" he says in a louder voice, explaining he simply wants us to pray that he'll stay focused on school and stay clear of bad forces.

"Are you sure it's not homosexuality?" I repeat. It isn't.

The hands go on the shoulders, the eyes go shut, as we huddle up. Like freestyle rappers, we each take a turn at doing a spontaneous prayer for the curly-haired guy. When it's the Sunday school teacher's turn, I contribute by occasionally repeating various phrases he says, along with throwing in the intermittent "Yes! Yes!" and "Evil days! Evil days!" all in a monotone voice, while testing the limits of what would be an inappropriate touch.

When the Sunday school teacher hands over the mike to me, I simply start by plagiarizing his prayer, then throwing in a long mix about looking out for the Satan. The mention of the word "Satan" causes the Sunday school teacher to convulse and sort of jump back, letting out an almost orgasmic verbal moan. "Uhhhhh!"

I momentarily stop and open my eyes to see what the hell is going on. Thus, I keep mentioning Satan to get this Pavlovian response.

"Beware of Satan's forces!"


The Prayer Booth area is buzzing with various raised voices and Bible quotes.

Next up for us: a father-and-son combination.

"What is it you want us to pray for tonight?"

"Tell them what you did," says the father (a man) to his son (soon to be a man).

"I got in a fight at school," the son portion of the father-and-son team says with lowered head, giving the reason for the fight as some other kid "smack-talking" him.

Since I don't know any Bible passages, I try to lend authenticity by attempting to speak in Old English, as we once again huddle up.

"Oh Lord, protectith Trevor from the smack-talker. 'Cause blessed be he who turneth the other cheek to the smack-talkers. For the non-smack-talkers will inherit the Earth over the smack-talkers, for blessed be he who is a non-smack-talker."

For good measure, I make sure to mention Satan.


"How was that? Should I change it up a bit?!" I ask my partner after we all manly hug, and of course high-five, and then they leave.

"Just look for God to give you the words," is his only advice.

Taking that advice, I'll see what God comes up with for me on our next prayer victim.

"OK, try to speed it up a little bit," the Prayer Team Leader comes over and requests.

Thus enters a weaselly looking man with a thin mustache. Behind his back, the Prayer Team Leader makes the speed-it-up sign.

"What would you like for us to pray about for you?"

"My wife put a restraining order on me," the man proclaims.

Whoa. Is that something Jesus can fix?

Is a restraining order in the Jesus jurisdiction?!

In this case, the words that God gives me are the lyrics from the Journey song "Open Arms":

So now I come to you

With open arms ....

When finished, the guy with the restraining order starts crying. The Sunday school teacher says, "Come here," and gives him a hug. He turns toward me for the hugging ritual. I in turn offer a manly high-five.

About The Author

Harmon Leon


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