What keeps us away from praying every day?
What prevents us from prayer is a question that I have often pondered. The initiation of the Prayer Relay by God was aimed at revitalizing the practice of prayer in a world where it is becoming increasingly rare.
The fact that he says re-cultivate tells us that this culture was there before but has become increasingly 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 increasingly challenged and times even mocked or ridiculed, if that is 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 secure 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 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, 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.
King David stood out for his ability to accept his wrongs and take his faults before the Lord. Even when you have failed him, God’s love remains intact. He loves you regardless of your flaws, and believe 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 to believe. As a result, we do not have the relationship with God he wants us to have. In most believers, our fear of God is not reverence but “scared” fear. Andrew Wommack said, “We have been taught the Godfather instead of God the Father.”
As a result, it is hard to forgive ourselves when we fail God, even though he forgives us. I believe that the greatest reason for this is our fear of 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 sins. 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 understood that I had a gross misconception of love. Thus I have found true love in Christ. Knowing him more has shown me what love 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 it anyway. Understanding love puts you in a place of self-denial, self-betrayal even.
When you know love, you can’t help but pray. You yearn 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 could read it here. We looked at four things that draw us from prayer in that post. We identified sin, self-condemnation, a 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 to evaluate yourself and make it right for your good.
Prayer allows us to communicate with our father, speak our hearts, and grant him dominion in our lives. You need to understand that he does not force himself on you. The devil understands this, so he seeks to remove prayer from your life.
Without prayer, you are more vulnerable to his attacks and 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 you would be either hot or cold. There is no grey area with God; you are either for or against him. Your life will speak for you in 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 the 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 our 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 others. 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 in your own life, the need for prayer cannot be overstated.
You need God to order your footsteps, so you ask him to. You need God to defend you against things you cannot physically see, let alone protect yourself.
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.
8. Anger as a hindrance to prayer
The greatest phenomenon I have seen, even among atheists, is anger against God. Many say they prayed in a time of need and did not see his hand. Thus, he is not in existence. God is a loving father who 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 to 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