Why do we struggle so much with praying? Okay–maybe you don’t, but at times, I do.
Last night was one of those moments for me when the Holy Spirit just woke me up to a huge blind spot right now in my life.
Right now my prayer life stinks!
The natural reaction in me is to defend myself after saying that by telling you about the great seasons of prayer that I have had and answers to prayer that I have seen, but the reality is this post isn’t about the past. It’s about now and right now (or last night) God reminded me that I’m missing out on one of the greatest privileges of being a Christian.
Are you in the same boat? Have you went days or weeks without any meaningful, focused time of prayer? Why does this happen to us?
While this list is not exhaustive, here are a few quick reasons why:
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. ~Ephesians 6:10-12
The Bible is clear that we are in a daily battle not only with our flesh, but also with spiritual forces we cannot see. This enemy will do anything and use anything to distract us from the powerful privilege we have called prayer.
Our prayers interrupt Satan’s plans. That is why he attacks our prayer life.
No discipline in our schedule.
I have found it’s easy to get into a bad routine. After a long busy day just sit on the couch get comfortable turn on Netflix and before you know it’s time for bed. Some of us have a personality that likes discipline, but all of us face a daily struggle of spiritual discipline. Why? Because there is an internal battle going on in every believer on a daily basis.
The Bible tells us this in Galatians 5:16-17
This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
The common excuses is, “I’m just so busy,” but in reality every time I have used that excuse for whatever reason, in the back of my mind I know that I always end up scheduling what I believe is important. Saying “I’m just so busy” is the same as saying prayer is really not a top priority for me right now.
I don’t know how
There have been times when I have brought up the subject of prayer with people and they humbly shared that they don’t know how to pray. It feels intimidating to them and they worry they are not praying the right way.
If that is you, remember this–prayer is just talking to God, your Heavenly Father. Should we be reverent, yes, but outside of being irreverent, just humbly talk to God. Share with him your heart. Yes He already knows, but He wants you to depend upon Him.
Excitement and planning without God
This, sadly, is me. I get a great idea (at least in my head) and I can’t wait to do it or teach on it, or write it, so I start doing it and get it all done and then realize–I didn’t pray. So, I just did the work in my own power and wasn’t dependent upon God. OUCH!
Now because our God is a long suffering and gracious God, He may honor what we are doing, but how much more fruit could we have seen had we stopped to pray?
What can we do?
So if you are like me and right now this week you notice your prayer life stinks, what can we do?
- Stop making excuses. We have to start by admitting it.
- Clear some time. Maybe that means get up 20 minutes earlier. Maybe that means ask our spouse to help clear some time. Take whatever drastic measures you have to, but clear time.
- Get a friend to help. Ask a friend to pray with you or to ask you daily about your prayer life. Someone that will ask and be loving at the same time.
- Make a list. Start writing down sins you need to confess, praises, prayer requests and eventually answers to prayer.
- Start journaling. Write down what God is teaching you and showing you in a simple journal.
- Slow down. Don’t rush ahead of God. Slow down and seek His Will and power.
This is just a few thoughts that I hope have triggered in your heart an examination of your prayer life. Let’s get back to praying to our God who we know according to Ephesians 3:20, “is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.”
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We only have a few more weeks on the podcast in our Study on the book of James. If you missed this week’s episode or you want to go back and catch up you can find them anywhere you listen to podcasts.