I will admit it. There are times when I do not feel like praying. I will also admit that during those times, I won’t. I am guilty. I fall into the trap of allowing anything and everything to get in the way of my relationship with God. We all do it. Our jobs, our families, or extra-curricular activities, and our mood all play a factor in how much time we spend in prayer. There are ways to overcome all the roadblocks that keep us from the crucial time on our knees.
Reasons We Don’t Pray
We are too busy -The more we have on our plate, the more the little things begin to be pushed away. What we hold priority in our lives will be evident in what we spend our time doing. Of course, there are things we must do like working. Our jobs take up the majority of our awake time, but after that, responsibilities will vary depending on where you are in your life; spouses, children, friends, sports, working out, pets, and chores make up the rest of the to-do list we face daily. For me, I have a full-time job in the transportation industry; writing is something I do on the side. Part of my list is writing this blog for you. All of these responsibilities build up. The more we take on, the less time we have for other things. And one of those things that suffers is quiet time, which includes prayer time.
We are too tired –With those busy schedules, it is no wonder we are ready to hit the pillow at night and be asleep even before the lights shut off. The busier we are, the more tired we will be at the end of the day. So, anything that requires time gets pushed down the line and most likely will not get done.
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We don’t have anything to pray about –For those with less busy schedules, and who are not as tired at the end of the day, still may have a prayer life that is lacking. One of the reasons is they may feel they do not have anything to pray about. Of course, when life is falling apart, there is plenty. But what about in the good times? When life is fine, we don’t feel the need to pray. We have bought into the lie that prayer is for needs only. That prayer is the 9-1-1 line to heaven for the really big emergencies. Yes, prayer is a way to express our needs, but it is so much more. It is a way to thank God, praise God, it is a means of conversation with our Heavenly Father.
What We Need to Do
The answer is pretty simple. We pray. The mistake many people make is that prayer has to be an hour-long event where you close all your doors, light candles, and recite incantations until you feel you are heard. This is not the case. Prayer is not complicated. We over-complicate things because we do not fully understand God. We make it more difficult because we make assumptions about what God desires of us. All He desires is a relationship. And relationships are built though spending time with each other. And that time is best spent in prayer.
There is always time for prayer. We may not see it when we consider all that needs to be accomplished during our day, prayer has many unseen effects. Especially morning prayer. Morning prayer helps start off our days on the right foot. It can help with getting our minds focused and open to what God has for us instead of all the things we need to do. One thing I have always tried to convince myself of is that I don’t have the time not to pray.
One reason I believe that we find it difficult to pray is that the devil is using our emotions to try and convince us that prayer is pointless; that it has no affect. He uses those emotions against us. The very times we need to pray the most, he is telling us we don’t need it at all. He will use anything to keep us from God; fatigue, laziness, business, and responsibilities. When those things don’t work, he tries to use doubt and guilt, trying to convince us we are not worthy to pray to God. Sometimes his tactics work, so we keep on going, and our prayer life keeps on thinning.
I heard this quote many years ago, and it changed my life. Author, Vance Havner, says in his book Jesus Only, “We need to come apart and rest awhile, and if we don’t come apart, we will come apart, we’ll go to pieces!” The point is that if we do not take time to rest, then we will fall in exhaustion. I have always applied this to prayer. If we do not set a time and make prayer a priority, then we will not be prepared for what comes our way.
Believe it or not, God understands us being weary. He knows what it is like to be tired. But He, himself understood how important daily communication was with his Father. Our relationship with Him should be just as important. Now, there will be days where prayer is the last thing on your mind. My suggestion is to pray anyway. Do not feel guilty about short prayers. As long as your heart is in it, then God will hear it. Just try not to allow that to be a common occurrence or an excuse not to pray.
You wouldn’t go a day without talking to your spouse or your kids. Don’t go a day without having a conversation with the Creator of all things. With talking with the God who can step in and help your situation. He knows the type of day you had; He knows you don’t feel like praying. But when we pray through those times, we will experience greater blessing through our commitment to Him.