What stops us away from praying every day?
I have often wondered what stops us from praying? When God started the Prayer Relay, all he sent us out to do was to re-cultivate a culture of prayer in a world where it is dying more and more daily.
The fact that he says re-cultivate told us that this culture was there before, but has become more and more eroded by the modern world. This post will point out some of the things that have and continue to steal prayer from our generation. What stops us from praying every day? What stands in the way of our intimacy with God?
Walking with God means prayer happens naturally. What draws us away from God?
Lack of faith
Unlike in any previous generation, Christianity has become more and more challenged and times even mocked or ridiculed if that is at all possible. This has caused many believers to stray from their faith. Those who do not understand the times will be drawn away from what they believe in. The bible says Daniel understood from prophecy, that their time of captivity was close and began to pray it into coming.
He secured it in prayer. His understanding drew him into prayer. Most people nowadays do not recognise how prophetic these days are, thus they stray from prayer, yet like Daniel this is when they should be securing themselves in prayer. Read the word. Understanding it brings you unbreakable faith. Lack of faith is the first thing that draws us away from prayer. Daniel 9:2
Romans 10:17 Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.
I for one noticed this pattern in my own life, how sin sucks the prayer out of me. Glory to God for revealing this to me, for I have come to understand that when you fall is the time you need your father more.
Imagine being a child climbing a tree that your father warned you not to, if you found yourself in immediate danger, would you not call your father even though you know he warned you against what you are doing? I know I would.
What King David stood out for was his ability to accept his wrongs and take his faults before the Lord, even when you have failed him God’s love remain intact. He loves you regardless of you flaws, and believe you me, he knows them all!! Sin draws us away from prayer.
Romans 8:35 35 Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death?
I believe one of the greatest tragedies in the church is that over the years, the church has used fear to motivate people into believing. As a result we do not have the relationship with God as he wants us to have. In most believers our fear of God is nor reverence, it is “scared” fear. As Andrew Wommack put it ,”We have been taught the God father instead of God the Father.”
As a result when we fail God, even though he forgives us it is hard to forgive ourselves. I am led to believe that the greatest reason for this is our fear for what “The God Father” will do to punish us for this. God is a tenderly loving father, he has and will always forgive us for our sin. Although that is not liberty to go and sin. Self-condemnation draws us away from prayer.
Psalm 103:12 12As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.
4. A misconception of Love
Over the years I have come to understand that I had a very gross misconception of love. Thus I have found true love in Christ. Knowing him more has shown me what love really is. God is love! End of story.
What I thought was love was my affection for a female, which would soon fade away when she did something that I did not approve of or like. Yet even when I do things that God does not approve of or like, he still loves me, because he is love.
Most of our love today is based on a give and take relationship. She loves me, so I love her. I define love as “Giving my all and expecting nothing back.” If it is returned that is awesome, if not I still love anyway. An understanding of love puts you in a place of self denial, self betray even.
When you know love, you can’t help but pray. You just have this yearning in you to see people better and happier, and knowing the Lord can do this you take it all to him. A misconception of love draws us away from prayer.
Yesterday we talked about what draws us from prayer. If you missed the post you can read it here. In that post we looked at four things that draw us from prayer. Which we identified as sin, self-condemnation, misconception of love and a lack of faith. Today we will move on to four more. Once these have been identified, it is up to you as an individual to evaluate yourself and make it right for your own good.
Prayer allows us to communicate with our father, to speak our hearts and more so to grant him dominion in our lives, you need to understand that he does not force himself on you. The devil understands this, which is why he seeks to take away prayer from your life.
Without prayer, you are more vulnerable to his attacks, you are weak! Let us identify more of these things and make a change. The things that draw us away from God are usually also the things that draw us away from prayer.
The bible says, Adam, who had always had fellowship with God went and hid. Something that had happened caused him not to feel comfortable seeing God. It caused him not to feel comfortable speaking with God.
He had always been naked. What changed was that he began to worry about what God would see of him. He had something to hide.
5. Compartment life.
Most believers live compartmentalised lives. Lives where we have decided that this is where God can come in, and this is where he cannot. What we fail to realise is that God is a man of principle, he is a man of “all or nothing”.
He says in Revelation 3:15-16 15‘I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot. 16‘So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth.
He knows your deeds, he knows your wrongs and has already forgiven you. He desires that you would be either hot or cold. There is no grey area with God, you are either for or against him. Your own life will speak for you in this, how you choose to live when you are not in the public eye, he knows your deeds. Compartment life draws us from prayer.
6. Self Righteousness
Self righteousness keeps us from prayer. When we tell ourselves that we are in right standing with God. When we become unrepentant, we reach a point when God is no longer your God, you treat him as though he were your friend.
Do not misquote me “he is your friend”, but just as it is with your earthly father, even though he may be your friend he remains your father and is still to be viewed and treated in that capacity.
Isaiah 64:6 6For all of us have become like one who is unclean, And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment; And all of us wither like a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.
Our righteousness is in our father through Christ, so we have no right to self righteousness.
Romans 5:17 17For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.
7. Arrogance/Selfishness and naivety
Joel Beeke taught that a prayerless man is selfish because he does not pray for other, he is arrogant because he does not seek God’s will for his own life. When you understand the need for the hand of God on your own life, the need for prayer cannot possibly be overstated.
You need God to order your footsteps, so you ask him to. You need God to defend you against things that you cannot physically see let alone protect yourself from.
Ephesians 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
You are naïve if you think it is by your own strength that you do what you do any day of the week. It is only through his enabling grace. Arrogance and selfishness are part of what draws us away from prayer.
The greatest phenomenon I have come to see, even among atheists is an anger against God. Many say they prayed at a time of need and did not see his hand, thus he is not in existence. God is a loving father, he said he would never leave nor forsake us.
I have been at points in my life where I felt he had done just that, but looking back now I see why that was the best thing for him to do, as it has all moulded me towards being the man that he wants me to be, the man that I want to be. Some do not pray, for they want to evade his will.
They are afraid of what his plans for them are, they do not want him to take them away from what they know. The only place you should ever let yourself be comfortable is in his will, because no matter what wind blows you have built on solid rock.
Let nothing take away your prayer. Just to have an audience with the King of Kings is in itself healing and therapeutic to me. I know my worries are in capable hands. Release your anger, anger with God can only hurt you! Anger draws us from prayer.
Father I commit my prayers into your hands. Enable me to possess that union with you. I thank you for that grace of an audience with you. I know it is well with me. In Jesus’ name.
Go ahead and share this with someone. Let us re-cultivate a culture of prayer. God bless you