“Prayer meeting this Sunday, before service!”
Eek. Before service? As in, even earlier than normal? Why would I do that? I wouldn’t. And here are at least five reasons why I wouldn’t.
I have a long and fruitful track record of rousing myself to prayer, especially first thing in the morning when I awake into another day of warfare against an enemy that hates my soul and desires the destruction of the church. I understand that some people go days upon days without prayer, while Christians are beheaded around the globe and others are entertained to death in America, but for the most part I really seek God hour by hour. It seems rather unnecessary to me to add even more prayer into my routine.
It’s totally a Catholic-y thing to get together and pray on schedule and about predetermined topics. God loves a spontaneous prayer-warrior that wages battle with full zeal, even if only for 8 seconds (since of course a wandering mind reminds me that I haven’t checked Facebook in ages). I much prefer the genuineness of my spontaneity. When I pray according to my on-the-spot thoughts, desires, and inclinations, I really feel super ultra close to my friend Jesus who knows my needs anyways.
There’s something really uncomfortable about praying aloud in a small group. What if I say the wrong thing? So maybe it’s better of course to say nothing at all? I don’t think my petitions to God (which are sanctified by the Spirit and advocated for by the Son according to the perfect plan of the Father) are going to really make a huge difference.
I’m already going to be at church all morning and early afternoon, and I want to make sure I have all my energy reserved for when I sit down for 1.5 hours and passively listen to the preacher dispense the cumulative wisdom he has gained from dozens of hours of prayer and study throughout the week. And besides, we might do communion and I wouldn’t want to be dozing off during the extra prayers that accompany that occasion (since we all know how long that takes).
No one else is really doing it. The prayer meetings tend to only have three or four, at most five people from time to time. And in the end, I think we all know how well the church in America is doing.
So there you have it, my five totally-not-serious arguments against prayer meetings. I leave you with a quote from Martin Luther (the reformer God used to baaaaasically reshape the world and bring Christianity back from the death grip of Satan.)
“I have so much to do [today] I shall spend the first three hours in prayer”