I have a million of them:
It's too hot outside
It's too cold.
I volunteer for the Church.
I need to volunteer for the Church.
I'm reading about it so I can do it better.
I'm reading about it so I can see how others do it.
I'm reading about it so I don't have to do it but can still say I pray.
I'm writing about it to inform others.
I'm writing about it to inform myself.
I'm writing about it so I can avoid actually doing it.
I need to take the dog for a walk.
Oh gosh, I don't even have a dog.
Well, I guess I can take the hamster for a walk.
Or the fish.
Heck, I need to take a walk, and heaven knows you can't pray while doing nothing.
I'm not in the right place.
I'm in the perfect place but it is too beautiful.
I'm not in the mood.
God doesn't listen anyway.
I'm only talking to myself.
I have work to do.
I need to wash dishes.
I need to clean the house.
I need to play games with Samuel.
I need to wash the car. (Ha, in all the cars I've ever owned sponge has not touched metal--but it sure rings true as an excuse.)
I'm too sad.
I'm too stressed.
I'm too happy.
I need my space--why does God need me constantly pawing at Him anyway?
God need's His space, He's tired of hearing the same old things.
I'm too sinful.
I'm too tired.
I'm too bored.
I'm too nostalgic.
I'm too . . .
It's too nice a day to remain indoors with a musty old book.
This musty old book is far too interesting to allow myself to become distracted with mere communication.
I'm not good enough.
I don't love enough.
But all of these boil down to one thing. I don't care enough. When God is the priority, all of these excuses melt into opportunities for prayer. But making God a priority is often not a priority with me. I distract myself endlessly with myself. I have a million million concerns and all of them take precedence.
Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness; and all these things will be added unto you. (Matt 6:33)
It isn't a suggestion, it's reality. This is the law I live. God is either first in my life or He is nothing. He is either present in my thoughts, the first word on my lips, or He is so far down the list of priorities He can't even be seen. Can you guess where He winds up most of the time?
I'd like to say I was Martha in a Mary world. But the reality is, if I look at it very closely, I can't even claim to be a Martha. How much of my busyness is really directed at service to the Lord and His people? How much of each day is devoted to serving others?
And you know, despite all of this, despite my own reluctance, despite my own shying away from God, still He invites me in. Still He calls to me and keeps calling until any human voice must be hoarse. Still He welcomes me and makes a place for me by His side. Still He is the Father who loves me and who waits patiently for my love. He waits for the distractions and baubles of the world to lose their glamor. He waits. And all the while He waits, He sends me His messengers of love, His constant and overflowing love for me is present every day and every moment of every day.
And someday I may pay attention. Grace will prevail despite my wiliest resources. Someday I will turn to God first. This I know because He has promised it.
Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. . . (Matt 7:7)