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Contempt for this time they’re displaying
When choosing to show up so late.—
If only we’d pray when we’re “praying”!

Alone I had started my praying.
Late comers some problems create:
Contempt for this time they’re displaying.

I’m wondering when we’ll start praying.
This prayer time is not a play date.
If only we’d pray when we’re “praying”!

Such carelessness is quite dismaying
Since doctors and lawyers won’t wait,
But contempt for this time they’re displaying.

The call to pray now not obeying,
To visit they won’t hesitate:
If only we’d pray when we’re “praying”!

The stop-time they won’t be delaying.
Real reverence let’s here reinstate:
Contempt for this time is dismaying—
If only we’d pray when we’re “praying”!

by Gwennon
July 12, 2017

I’m not going to even try to pretend that I’m not a part of this problem. And I know we need to give grace. Before leaving for church this morning, I already gave myself that pep-talk, all the while praying desperately that if others in the group wanted this time for social reasons, they’d just not show up. One hour after we were scheduled (according to the church bulletin and the website) to start praying for people, we still hadn’t started praying seriously. Seriously, our so-called “prayer meeting” ended up looking like a tea party in which each newcomer became the latest special guest speaker. I wish I could say that I had never seen anything like it. I simply can’t. This behavior is typical these days, and a couple of times (yep, you can see my self-righteousness at work here) I have arrived early, started praying through the list, then had to stop while late comers shut the whole thing down. But you know what, even though the time was short, and the written prayer list was long, the meeting ended up concluding “on time”. Oh, the irony of it all. I think Satan laughed all the way to the bank over that one. I feel a little sick at heart over this whole thing.

Will you pray for us? I think this may be a world-wide church problem. Especially in rich lands where lack of persecution lulls us to sleep so that we no longer see the need the for church, prayer, and God in our lives. You expect to see those things outside the church, not inside. Oh, unwelcome sorrow! How unhappily we have met again!!!