Why Don't We Pray?
She was grieving, and telling me what she so desperately wanted in her marriage.
“Have you prayed for that?” I asked.
You know the answer: no. But not just “No”, but “no” accompanied with a look of puzzlement - “Why have I not asked for this? Huh . . .”
I can relate to the feeling. Why don't we pray? When God is so near, and so powerful. When God is so full of love towards us; when the God Who is there is so able to do far more than we can think or even imagine - why don’t we pray to Him?
I’ll tell you my reasons, at least that are known to me:
Pride. Not a chest-thumping pride, but a sly, subtle self-sufficiency that creeps in unnoticed. I’ve been taught this since I was a young lad - “You can do this.” It’s the pride of living with reference to self, a desire for the honor of being the one who “did it”, whatever “it” may be. It’s adultified, Americanized, acceptable pride. But God hates pride and loves and favors humility . . . Quick repentance required here.
Busyness. I can blame Lucy all I want, but the fact is, if I don’t plan to pray, I will inevitably find other activities to fill in that time. But flip it over: the better fact is, if I do plan to pray, no amount of busyness in life can keep me from it. You and I not too busy to pray. It’s just not true. We always have time for what we put on our calendars. Prayer has gone back on mine. How about yours?
Entertainment. See the other article linked in today’s eLink. Less important than the time it takes, is the fact that entertainment dulls our taste for greater, better things. Even the storylines of the Olympics can draw us into a false world where living means making the podium, and greatness and glory, and death means fourth place - or a silver medal. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” (Matt. 5:8)
Disappointment. When we become disappointed with God and His past (non)answers to prayer, if you’re like me, you can “go silent” on God. The fight here is to simply keep talking, honestly. Some seasons of life teach us to pray; other seasons teach us to persevere in prayer: “. . . when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” (Luke 18:8)
What do you want, for yourself, your family, your community? Have you asked Him for that? Why not? Let’s pray . . .