Why We Don’t Pray

We’ve been talking about the spiritual discipline of prayer in class.  So I asked the question,

“Why don’t we pray?”  The replies were interesting:

  •  We feel like there’s not “enough time”
  •  We don’t understand why it matters/how it works
  • We have no sense of history (our own, or of God’s interaction with man)
  •  We lack discipline – we are lazy!
  • It’s awkward
  • We make it too complicated
  • We want to do it perfectly
  • We don’t know how to listen
  • We have too many distractions
  • Our prayer list is too long
  • We don’t know how to start

Let me start with this simple encouragement:

Understand that prayer is important.  It is a command.  It is something Jesus did, and instructed His followers to do.  To not make time for prayer is a sin.

You don’t have to understand exactly how it works to do it!  You drive your car every day, but can you explain how the engine works?  You microwave food every day, but can you explain the science behind it?

If you are willing to admit to yourself that you don’t pray much because you don’t see the need for it… then take the time to study prayer in the scriptures.  Ask God to show you why it matters.  Ask Him to help you realize how important it is, especially relative to all the other things you waste time doing during the day.

Start with some of these passages:

Matthew 7:7-11 Ask and will receive, God gives good gifts

John 16:24  Ask and will receive

Ephesians 3:20     God can do more than we dream

Philippians 4:6-7 Prayer frees us from anxiety

I Thessalonians 5:17  Command – pray continually

Mark 1:35, Luke 5:16 Jesus’ example

Luke 18    Why persistent prayer matters

I Samuel 12:23  Sin to fail to pray for others

James 5:16-18  Elijah, persistent prayer is significant

2 Kings 20:1-6 Prayer appears to change God’s plan

Jeremiah 33:3  God’s answers reveal hidden things

John 15:7  Condition – remain in word and in Jesus

1 John 3:21-22   Condition – living obedient life

1 John 5:14-15  Condition – ask according to God’s will

James 4:3 Hindrance – wrong motives

Psalm 66:18   Hindrance – keeping sin in heart

You must first come to a place where you understand that prayer matters – and then we’ll talk about making  time for prayer and using your prayer time efficiently and effectively.


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