I was knee-deep in paperwork, when Dan reminded me it was time to go to Wednesday night prayer meeting. My initial reaction was “But I have so much to do!” My second reaction was to breathe a prayer of thanks for a scheduled prayer time that required me to stop doing everything as if it depended on me and to go to a place where I would be reminded that everything depends on the Lord.
Last fall the members of our church planting team declared a month of intensive prayer. In addition to fasting, we had a half hour prayer meeting EVERY night for 30 days. Talk about inconvenience! But every time my flesh said, “Oh, no, not another meeting,” my spirit said, “Hooray for another chance to seek God’s will for our future.”
Why do we avoid prayer? Sometimes it’s because of pride, the false sense that we don’t really need God because have it all together. At other times it’s just plain hard work because the devil doesn’t want it to happen. Wesley Duewel once wrote: There is nothing on earth that Satan fears so much as prayer. He concentrates on keeping you from prayer or getting you to give up before you get prayer’s answer. Prayer is his nemesis. He cannot triumph over prevailing prayer. It will defeat him, destroy his works and drive him out of places and lives he claims as his own.
Prayer takes time, one of life’s most precious commodities. But like the woman with the alabaster jar of perfume (Matt 26:7), we are called to give our most valuable possessions to the Lord. I’m grateful for my Brazilian colleagues who urge me to make that kind of commitment.