Yes! You just asked yourself that! I did too…several times. You will agree that there is no doubt in our minds that prayer is critical to every part of our lives. So why is it so hard for us to pray? Why is it that so many of the things we must tend to in life are hard to do? And if they are not hard to do, they are at least hard to get started on? Take, for instance, getting out of bed in the morning. For me, this is one of those hard-to-do things (and I’m sure you agree!). Then begins a day-long list of things to do, people to see and places to go.

But the most vital and important thing that we as God’s people “must” get around to and “have to” include in our every day is prayer. No matter how difficult or busy our personal work is, it is even harder to do the spiritual work of prayer! If we are not careful, we can spend all day and all night doing less important tasks-anything!-to put off the most difficult, yet most rewarding ‘task’ of all-praying.

Have you struggled with prayer at any point in your walk of salvation? After thinking through the Scriptures and looking at my own heart and life, I have discovered some reasons and excuses for not praying.

  1. Worldliness- We live “in the world” (Jn.17:11), and the world affects us more than we think. It daily bombards us with “everything in the world-the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does,” all of which “comes not from the Father but from the world” (1 Jn.2:16). So watch out for the world! Resist the world by watching in prayer (Matt.26:41). As the hymn writer said, “Turn your eyes upon Jesus…and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of his glory and grace.”

  1. Busyness- Don’t get me wrong! I know the Bible says a strong work ethic is a mark of strong character. But the Bible also shows us in the story of Martha & Mary (Lk.10:38-42) that a priority order must be set between our spiritual duties and our daily duties. Both sisters loved Jesus, and both gladly served Him. But Mary knew when to stop with the busyness and do the best thing, the one thing that is most important-spend time with God. And dear brother & sister, you and I must do the same.

  1. Foolishness- When we become consumed with what is foolish and trivial, we will fail to pray. Then what happens? We begin to lose our ability to know the difference between good and evil (Heb.5:14), wise and foolish, between the essential and meaningless. Eventually we lose sight of the primary thing in life; which is our relationship with God.But when we pray, He helps us direct our energy, efforts and time toward what truly matters in the big picture of life- living life as God means it to be lived. So, commit and focus your life not on the earthly, but the eternal. On what really counts! That’s what the wise man and woman does- and it’s done through prayer.

  1. Distance- When you’re around people you know really well, you can talk all day long; but probably have difficulty talking even five minutes with a stranger. And the same thing happens in our communication with God. When you and I don’t have a close enough relationship with our Father, we find it hard to talk to Him.So the solution is obvious- we must “come near to God” (James 4:8). God hasn’t changed, disappeared or withdrawn His love for you or stopped listening to you. No! If there is a problem, it is always with you and me. So, close the gap. Draw close to God. Simply take a step in prayer! He’s waiting for you.

  1. Ignorance- We don’t really get to understand God’s goodness or His desire and ability to provide for us “immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine” (Eph.3:20) and to “meet all our needs” (Phill.4:19), unless we do so through prayer. He wants us to ask; just like He tells us in Jer.33:3 and Matt.7:7-8.Therefore dear ones, answer God’s call to pray and start asking! Ask boldly and passionately for whatever the need is. Is it the salvation of your family & friends, or to understand God’s will as you make decisions? Is it your daily needs at home, school, work or with your friends? Begin asking with faith, knowing that your Father listens.

  1. Sinfulness- We don’t pray because we know we’ve sinned against our holy God. Adam and Eve hid themselves from God after they sinned (Gen.3:8), and King David ceased praying and “kept silent” after he sinned (Ps.32:3)So, what is the solution to our sinfulness as we see from different characters in the Bible?David: “Confess your transgressions to the Lord” (Ps.32:5)James: “Confess your sins” (James 5:16)John: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful to forgive us…” (1Jn.1:9)And Jesus says to pray to God, asking Him to “forgive us” the wrongs we have done (Matt.6:12). Then the floodgates of communion with God are again opened.Keep short accounts with God. Deal with any sin as it comes up. Remember, “The prayer of a righteous man (and woman) is powerful and effective” (James 5:16).

  1. Faithlessness- We don’t pray because we don’t really believe in the power of prayer; we don’t think prayer makes any difference. And yet our Lord taught that when you and I ask according to His will, “if you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer” (Matt.21:22).If you are running low in faith, do as Jesus’ disciples did. Ask God to increase your faith! (Lk.17:5)

  1. Pride- Prayer reflects our dependence on God. Therefore, when we fail to pray, we are saying that we don’t have needs…or worse, we are saying, “God I’ll take care of it myself, thank you!” However, God calls out to us who are called by his name in 2Chron. 7:14 to humble ourselves, pray, seek his face and turn from our wicked ways, then He will hear us from heaven.So let’s be quick to humble ourselves-to bow both heart and knee-and pray to God. Just as David said, “Search me, O God…see if there’s any offensive way in me” (Ps.139:23-24)Let’s enjoy the blessings that come from a humble heart.

  1. Inexperience- We don’t pray because…we don’t pray! And because we don’t pray, we don’t know how to pray…so we don’t pray! It’s a vicious cycle. Yet prayer, like any skill, becomes easier when repeated. The more we pray, the more we know how to pray. And the more we know how to pray, the more we pray. It’s as simple as that.And in case you think you’re the only one who’s had difficulty praying, you are not! Even those closest to Jesus-his disciples-had the same problem. They heard him pray; even more they heard him pray for them! Finally, they went to the Master and asked Him, “Lord, teach us to pray” (Lk.11:1)Pray the same prayer dear friend. Even when you don’t feel like, even when you think it doesn’t make any difference, even if you don’t know what you are doing or fear you are doing it badly!Pray! Break the cycle!

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  1. Laziness- The nine obstacles that we’ve discussed so far are prayer killers. But even if we overcome the nine, this tenth one-laziness-will make or break us in the Prayer Department!We’ve both been there and done that when it comes to laziness, right? I know I had to break some bad habits that were robbing me of the time I needed to pray. One simple act helped me move forward in beating laziness; the principle of “Something is better than nothing.”I had to stop looking for the “sweet hour of prayer” and try for something more realistic. I started with “a sweet five minutes of prayer.” Then, in time, as I began to taste the fruits of time spent in prayer, I graduated, little by little, to greater lengths of time spent on bended knee.

So, what is (are) the culprit(s) robbing you of tending to your relationship with God? Identify it and begin working on it. Remember, God is waiting for you!

My prayer and hope is that there’s going to be a transformation over your prayer life, through identifying the reasons/excuses that hinder you from enjoying this spiritual discipline.

God bless!

 

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