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Don’t Be Like Those Super-Extra-Holy-People

Updated: Feb 22

By Catherine Cross

“Don’t pray like those super extra holy people. They think that if you say lots of words God will hear them, but it’s not because you're so clever or good or so important that God will listen to you. God listens to you because he loves you...” - Sally Lloyd Jones, The Jesus Storybook Bible

To be honest, I go through much of life thinking that I am a Super-Extra-Holy-Person. Maybe you do, too. I tell myself a false story that if I do enough for God, if I say the right thing, then God must love me more. 

This past Sunday, Emily Pirozzolo (Season 14 Capital Fellow!), from the Children’s Ministry team at MPC, led a Sunday School training on prayer in the classrooms. As we were being reminded of basic truths about prayer as we teach our students, it was a reminder my heart needed too. Below are just a few of my favorite verses shared by Emily, adapted from a book people of all ages need called, “What Every Child Should Know About Prayer” by Nancy Guthrie:

  • God hears us when we pray. ("For the eyes of the Lord are righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer.” - 1 Peter 3:12a)

  • We can use our normal voice when we pray. ("And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words.” - Matthew 6:7)

  • We can pray about anything. ("Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be known to God." - Philippians 4:6)

As we try to model and teach about prayer in our Sunday School classrooms weekly, it is often the students that I am supposed to be teaching that teach me the most about prayer. After teaching about Moses interceding for the Israelites, we have started having students intercede (pray) for one another. Their prayers are simple, short, and filled with care... I wonder how our friendship with God would change if we went to him in prayer like a child instead of Extra-Super-Holy-People. 

“...You see, children loved Jesus, and they knew they didn’t need to do anything special for Jesus to love them. All they needed to do was to run into his arms. And that’s just what they did." - Sally Lloyd Jones, The Jesus Storybook Bible


Catherine Cross is a member of the Capital Fellows class of 2023-24. She is from Midlothian, VA, and is a graduate of James Madison University. This year, she is working as an ecclesial Fellow with Children's Ministry at McLean Presbyterian Church.


Pictures From The Week

John Kyle offering snacks to the Fellows.

Start of the annual "Lord of the Rings" movie marathon!

Catherine and Josh enjoying an ice cream and brownie break.

Girls ready to start The Two Towers.


Know a Potential Capital Fellow?

If you know a college senior or recent graduate who should consider joining the Capital Fellows program in 2024-25, please encourage them to get in touch with us. The easiest way to express interest in the program is through our Contact Us Form. You can learn more about the program, including application deadlines, by visiting the Capital Fellows website.

About Capital Fellows. Capital Fellows is an advanced leadership and discipleship program for recent college graduates. Through graduate courses, a paid internship, one-on-one mentoring, and many leadership and community service opportunities, fellows develop and apply their gifts in real-world situations while learning to integrate a Christian worldview into all areas of life. Capital Fellows is a unique opportunity to live and work in the Washington DC area and to be an active member of a supportive community that seeks to serve the city with the love of Christ. It is also a unique opportunity to get hands-on experience in the workplace while deeply exploring God’s design for us as workers and contributors to human flourishing.


Pray for the Capital Fellows

Thank you for praying for the Capital Fellows each week!

In the coming weeks, the Capital Fellows will be meeting with members of our church to talk about networking for future jobs. For several years, the Deacons have been helping the Fellows make job connections with people in our church and around the DC area. A handful of Fellows already have jobs or graduate school plans, but several are still in the process of searching for their post-Fellows work. Please pray that the meetings with the Deacons and other leaders in the church will produce job opportunities for our Fellows.

Want to pray for the current Capital Fellows in an ongoing way? Download this handy prayer guide for your phone or tablet.

Capital Fellows Class Brochure - for Phones
Download PDF • 1.18MB


About The Fellows Initiative

Capital Fellows is part of a network of similar programs across the country. This network is called The Fellows Initiative. There are 34 Fellows programs in TFI, roughly 3,000 alumni living around the world, and more Fellows programs on the way.

If you know a church in the US or Canada that would benefit from joining TFI by launching a new Fellows program. Please contact TFI by visiting their website.


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