I am of the opinion that coming up with excuses to miss a prayer meeting is about as easy as opening a can of pop. It does not take a profound imagination to concoct reasons to skip. With that in mind, I sometimes remind myself why prayer must be kept essential rather than supplemental. I like to use the Word to re-frame my desires. If you are a member of Grace Fellowship Church and starting to think of why you should stay home tonight or any night this week, here are some of my Monday afternoon reflections.
Answer the Tempter with Truth!
I am tired.
“Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing but the flesh is weak.” (Matthew 24)
I have more important things to do.
“For all the nations of the world seek after these things, and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, seek His kingdom, and these things will be added to you.” (Luke 12)
I do not like to pray.
“Pray without ceasing.” (1 Thessalonians 5)
I can pray better on my own anyway.
“And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.” (Acts 2)
I forgot about it.
“They forgot his works
and the wonders that he had shown them.
Yet he, being compassionate,
atoned for their iniquity
and did not destroy them;
he restrained his anger often
and did not stir up all his wrath.
He remembered that they were but flesh,
a wind that passes and comes not again.
How often they rebelled against him in the wilderness
and grieved him in the desert!” (Psalm 78:11, 38-40)
I don’t feel like it. Have you even been outside?
“Another of the disciples said to him, ‘Lord, let me first go and bury my father.’ And Jesus said to him, ‘Follow me, and leave the dead to bury their own dead.’” (Matthew 8)
I don’t see the need to confess my sins in front of other people.
“Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” (James 5)
I have to get ready for school/work tomorrow.
“Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” (Matthew 6)