God, I’m too busy to pray…

 ‘The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want. But you will not always have me.’ Mark 14:7 

Prayer Sustaining Ministry

Thought 

Wait! Hasn’t Jesus been banging the drum for the poor. Those dripping in gold are going to find it easier pushing camels through eyes of needles than getting into God’s kingdom. So, when the woman empties a whole perfume boutique over Jesus – don’t the disciples have a right to be slightly miffed? What a waste! They could’ve remortgaged the shop, shifted the fragrances on eBay, and made a tidy sum to fund a non-profit, right? WRONG! There’s clearly a place for us to contribute to the progress of humanity. But not at the expense of worship. The woman pours out everything at the feet of Jesus. Quite rightly, she gets her fifteen minutes of fame, as Jesus promises the woman, ‘…wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.’ (Mark 14: 9) 

Faced with overwhelming need on your estate, it might be tempting to prioritise activism over prayer. Oswald Chambers would disagree, ‘Prayer does not equip us for some greater works – prayer is the greater work.’ Like the woman pouring out her fragrance, somebody dancing in the spirit, or another retreating to a quiet place, worship can feel extravagant, inappropriate or embarrassing. Especially when there’s work to be done. Why is that? 

Do we think Jesus isn’t enough to fix all the brokenness? Must I be the one to solve everyone’s problems? Do we underestimate the power of prayer in our communities?  Do we care more about what others think of us? How can I tell the alcoholic I see they’re in real need but I’m not the person to help them right now? 

To live long-term on my estate maybe I need to flip my thinking. I must accept that worshipping God might mean saying ‘no’ to someone or something. Spending time in prayer might mean giving up one of my other commitments. If I have become too busy for God, I have lost the reason for my ministry. Poverty will always exist, and I can make my dent in it whenever I wish, but not at the expense of pouring out my worship to Jesus.   

 

Let’s pray: 

Lord,
Thank you for the gift of work.
I’m sorry for when I have become obsessive or held too high an opinion of it.
Help me keep balanced in doing my very best for my community whilst caring well for myself.
Help me to prioritise time with you.
I accept I am not the solution to everyone’s problems and acknowledge you as my community’s saviour.
I repent for shrinking the value of prayer and I receive your wisdom in reorganising my diary.
Show me when to say ‘yes’ and where to say ‘no’ to the demands of my time.
Jesus, I want to return to the place of the woman who poured out her worship at your feet.
Let me extravagantly adore you with my valuable time.
I say I am not too busy to pray. 

Amen.

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