Step Aside Jabez… Here Comes Eutychus!

Do you remember all the Prayer of Jabez hype? Well, look out Jabez, here comes Eutychus!

The Prayer of Jabez was a book written in 2000 by Bruce Wilkinson that sold 9 million copies. It’s not that it was a bad message. I heard Wilkinson give the talk in person- it was very good. But I’m probably like most of you- I just got tired of a few things:

  1. Dare I say a “theology” that seemed to emerge, built on two small verses.
  2. Seeing Jabez coffee cups, Jabez placemats, Jabez ashtrays… etc.
  3. Some people seemed to take that “God will bless you” to a prosperity gospel level that was a little scary.

Funny… my brother just emailed me and asked me for a copy of an article I wrote that I never ended up publishing, I called it the Prayer of Eutychus (remember, the guy who fell out of the window when Paul was preaching on and on….) I opted not to post it at the time, I thought it was a little to cynical. But I read it the other day and had a good laugh. So here, nine years after the fact, I post it just for you all!  😉 

The Prayer of Eutychus
If you think the prayer of Jabez was a blessing . . . hold on to your shorts!
An Abridged version of the new hit book, “The Prayer of Eutychus”
by Jonathan McKee
 
Ever feel tired and weary? Does your job got you down? Tired of getting home from work only to find that your dog ate your remote control, your new white shirt just went though the wash with your new red towels, and your two year old just tried to play a fruit roll-up in your CD player?
 
Well a young man named Eutychus had the exact same struggles.   “Who is Eutychus?” you ask. He’s only found in two little verses of scriptures. Two small verses that you can miss if you blink. And these two small verses can change your life for good . . . that’s what you want to hear right?
 
Here in the middle of the 20th chapter of Acts, Luke inserts two small life-changing verses about a young man named Eutychus, and I’ve built a theology on it! Check out the blessings in store for you.
 
Let me give you some back history. Paul is speaking to a group in a three story house in Troas. It is hot, and a young man named Eutychus sits by a window for some fresh air. The name Eutychcus is Greek, so we can only assume that this is a man of Greek birth. Therefore we can only conclude that he frequented a lot of the Greek Restaurants in Troas, and these restaurants load their food with Garlic. . . thus, explaining everyone making him sit by the window. But as Paul speaks . . . something magnificent happens. Let’s look together:
 

Acts 20:9-10 (NIV)

    Seated in a window was a young man named Eutychus, who was sinking into a deep sleep as Paul talked on and on. When he was sound asleep, he fell to the ground from the third story and was picked up dead. [10] Paul went down, threw himself on the young man and put his arms around him. “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “He’s alive!”

 
Wow. These two verses can change your life. 
 
Many of us feel like Eutychus. Maybe it’s because we are young, like verse 9 says Eutychus was.  Maybe it’s because are surrounded by rich friends. You’ll notice that this was a 3 story building. Only the very rich could afford such an edifice. So we can only conclude that the host here had some PHAT BANK!!! And Eutychus, a young Greek boy invited into this environment, must have been a close friend of these homeowners. Possibly best friends. Eutychus probably went bowling with them every Friday night. If he would walk into a restaurant, and these friends were there, they would all yell in delight, “Eutychus, come join us. But please . . . sit over here by the window!”
 
We also see from this passage that Paul talked “on and on.” We all can relate to that. Sitting in church listening to some guy who THINKS he’s Andy Stanley! Guys that aren’t Andy, and just put us to sleep!
 
Many of us might also relate to Eutychus because we are working on our computers all day. The reference is subtle, but the verse clearly says, “seated in a window.” The New Centurion Version of the scripture said “as Eutychus was in . . . Windows.” We can only conclude that this is a prophecy as to the upcoming computer age where many of us will spend much of our time in “Windows.” It doesn’t specify whether this means Windows 2000, or XP, but it clearly says in Windows, unfortunately for our Mac user friends, God Bless their souls.
 
Well, Eutychus did what many of us feel like doing: just going to sleep. He slept and then fell “to the ground.” Notice this scripture says “to” the ground not “on” the ground. If it just said he fell “on” the ground, then the journey to the ground wasn’t important. But because it said “to” the ground, we can only conclude that this journey was important!
 
Greek culture teaches us that a journey is a time of storytelling and expression. Any Greek young man living in Troas, going on a journey in that day, would always share his feelings on that journey, he would express himself. The jewel that is here in this small overlooked verse in the book of Acts is a prayer: The Prayer of Eutychus.   (You’ll find keychains and devotionals at your local Christian Bookstore- let’s share the blessing together!) 
 
Eutychus cries out a prayer as he’s falling from the window, as he’s escaping his overwhelmed situation, as he’s fleeing his rich friends who always make him sit by the dang window! We don’t get to hear the prayer, but we know it was something like, “Aaaaaaaauuuuuuuuugh!”
 
Do you ever feel like just crying out to our Lord, “Aaaaaaaauuuuuuuuugh!” I sure do. But what the Lord is telling us here is that when we cry out to him in the midst of our retreat . . . he will declare us ALIVE, just like the Apostle Paul did to Eutychus.
 
How many of you would like to feel alive. Well, God wants to give you that feeling, and you don’t even have to jump out of a window. You simply pray the prayer of Eutychus, “Aaaaaaaauuuuuuuuugh!”
 
Many of you aren’t sure how to pray the prayer of Eutychus. And it’s good to be sure, so make sure you buy any of the guidance books in the Prayer of Eutychus series:
 
“How to Pray the Prayer of Eutychus Properly’
 
“Worship Like Eutychus”
 
“Using Windows XP Like Eutychus”
 
“Croc Wrestling and Yelling Aaaaaaaauuuuuuuuugh!”
 
And you can feel much better sipping coffee out of your “Prayer of Eutychus” coffee mug, making toast in your “Prayer of Eutychus” toaster oven with the “Prayer of Eutychus” toaster cozy and sleeping in your “Prayer of Eutychus” comforter set. These are just a sliver of the blessings you can purchase if you want to feel alive.
 
So don’t let life get you down.  You too can say “Aaaaaaaauuuuuuuuugh!” and be made alive! You too can experience the Prayer of Eutychus and be blessed.

About Jonathan McKee

president of The Source for Youth Ministry, is the author of over twenty books including the brand new If I Had a Parenting Do Over, 52 Ways to Connect with Your Smartphone Obsessed Kid; Sex Matters; The Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket; and youth ministry books like Ministry By Teenagers; Connect; and the 10-Minute Talks series. He has over 20 years youth ministry experience and speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers and parents on his websites, TheSource4YM.com and TheSource4Parents.com. You can follow Jonathan on his blog, getting a regular dose of youth culture and parenting help. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.
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7 Responses to Step Aside Jabez… Here Comes Eutychus!

  1. Awesome. I got in trouble with my senior pastor because I laughed very loudly and interrupted his sermon prep. Then I emailed him the post, and he laughed very loudly and interrupted my lesson prep, so we’re even.

  2. John Gruber says:

    If I ever start a band, I am going to call it, “Sleepy Eutychus.”

  3. I get your blog posts in my google reader and I wanted you to know you just brightened the morning of this youthpastor turned Army Chaplain in Baghdad Iraq. Thanks for all you do.

  4. Glad to cheer you up Dave… thanks for serving your country! We owe you much.

  5. Brent says:

    Thanks for the article. It brightened my day!
    With summer coming up, I think I wills start praying like Eutychus. However, do you have the book, “The Power of a Praying Eutychus”

  6. Daniel says:

    Good stuff! Do you have Eutychus bracelets?

  7. Hilarious! my mother is an awesome teacher, and she did a study series on the book of Acts. I’m going to have to tell her that she left out some important things. she didn’t mention that his reason for sitting by the window was a severe case of garlic breath. And the prophecy about windows XP, I knew there was a reason I never owned a Mac.

    Oh, and my son once tried to play a slice of pizza in the VCR, so I know the feeling.