While you’re held captive, mouth opened wide, why not get to work on your prayer list?
Posted in , Nov 4, 2021
Have a dentist appointment coming up? Have you ever prayed in the dentist’s chair?
I don’t mean “Lord, get me out of here” prayers—or maybe I do. Those are totally valid prayers. But they’re not the only kind that make the dentist a great place to pray.
On a recent visit to the dentist, I faced the prospect of a few hours in the chair. With my mouth open. Sometimes painfully propped open. And while the people there play soothing music over the sound system, I wasn’t looking forward to such a long stretch of time in which I couldn’t read, write or even listen to an audiobook. (Perhaps it’s important to hear the person with the drill saying, “hold still” or “turn your head”).
Then I had a revelation: the dentist’s chair is a great place to pray. And prayer can occupy my mind with better, higher thoughts than, I hope that wasn’t an “uh-oh” I just heard.
So, I tried it. I started by praying (silently, of course, as my mouth was otherwise occupied) for myself—my teeth, gums and so on. Next, I prayed for the dentist and her assistant and for the dental hygienist as well as the office staff. But I didn’t stop there. After all, I had plenty of time at my disposal.
I prayed for my family, one by one. I prayed for my church family, then for my neighbors. I prayed for relatives and friends who are struggling with illness or physical issues. And more.
By the time my dental appointment was over, I had interceded for more people and needs than I had in a long time. I even progressed to giving long and specific thanks and praise to God for…well, so much.
My dental prayer session didn’t make me love being at the dentist or look forward happily to the next time. But the focus on prayer not only assuaged both boredom and pain; it also helped the time to pass much more quickly. And it gave me a stress-relieving, God-saturated plan for all of my future visits.