It’s that time of the week again: prayer meeting night. You’ve had an extremely busy day and your head is pounding. So what do you do? Usually it’s one of four options:
- Stay in the house and chill out or go to bed
- Justify staying in the house by saying you are ‘unwell’; then chill out or go to bed
- Drag yourself along to the prayer meeting because you have to
- Go to the prayer meeting because you want to, and nothing would keep you away.
Tick any one of the above for your answer because at some point you have probably done all four – I know I have.
Take a minute to measure yourself against these four options and honestly reflect. Number one is worrying. To stay in the house when the Lord’s people are gathered suggests you are not in a good place. Number two is slightly better as you really may be ill and so justifiably can’t be out, but if a ‘fun’ outing was offered would you manage? Number three is a bit better because at least you understand your duty and make the effort to be there. But imagine if you could genuinely fulfil number four. Imagine if you really wanted to go and nothing would keep you away.
This brings us back to the question of what is important in life. What priority do we give to the church meetings when we gather together in fellowship to worship, pray and learn?
This verse commands us not to ‘forsake the assembling of ourselves together’. In other words, if a meeting is on, be there! Obviously there are exceptions, like child care or travelling with work; but, as a normal habit of life, be there. Just make it a habit so people are surprised if you’re not there. Bring up your children to understand that ‘this is what this family does’ – remembering that the example you set will influence them. And ask yourself, what kind of church would this be if everyone was like me?
The benefits are huge: we can be stirred up to love and good works, we can exhort and encourage each other, which is so important as ‘the Day approaches’. And if the Lord promised to be with His people, why would we want to miss that privilege?
So when it comes to prayer meeting night and you really can’t be bothered, just go. You won’t regret it, because you’ll know you got your priorities right.