I’m willing to bet that you would like to see prayer become a bigger part of your life. Me too. We know prayer is important, but it’s often difficult to find the time when we have so much going on in life. Perhaps our lack of prayer has more to do with our understanding and motivation than with our schedule.
What is prayer?
Prayer is simply speaking to God. It’s a personal conversation that we get to have with our relational Lord. God speaks to us through his Word and his Spirit, and we get to communicate directly with him through prayer. Prayer demonstrates our trust in him, our love for him, and our desire for his will to be done. It’s through prayer that we cultivate a deeper and more intimate relationship with God, our Heavenly Father.
Why don’t we pray?
If prayer is such a good thing, then why do we struggle to pray? I think it’s because we have an inaccurate view of prayer. Here are a few ways our understanding of prayer can be distorted:
First, we often think of prayer as a religious duty instead of a relational privilege. If prayer was just another tedious box to check, then yes, we might have better things to do. But if prayer cultivates a deeper intimacy with Jesus then it becomes much more desirable –not an “ought to” but a “get to!”.
Second, we don’t often pray because we don’t think God listens or cares. The Bible, however, paints a different picture. The Old Testament is filled with examples of the Lord hearing and responding to the cries of his people. Jesus also describes God as a great father who is good to his children (Matthew 7:11), and we can be confident that God hears his children when they pray (1 John 5:14-15).
Third, we overvalue ourselves and undervalue God. Pride deceives us into thinking we are in control and call the shots, so we don’t need God. Prayerlessness reveals that we trust more in ourselves than we trust God. We forget that he is Lord –sovereign over everything. If God is working all things together for your good, why wouldn’t you want to trust him with everything?
Motivation to pray
Prayer is a relational privilege that we get to have with a personal God. We’re given direct access to God because of Jesus, our mediator (1 Timothy 2:5), and we’re confident God hears us because of Christ’s faithfulness, not our own (Hebrews 9:14-16). Prayer isn’t just about requesting stuff from God; it’s getting more of God himself! So let’s draw near to our Heavenly Father in prayer -cultivating a deeper love, a greater trust, and an increasing dependence on the One who is both sovereign and good. We should never be too busy for that.