Prayer is a staple in a life of faith. Or perhaps we assume it is. But the truth is that many of us struggle with prayer. Why is that? There are numerous reasons why we might not make prayer a priority in our lives.
For one thing, we might feel like we are not seeing the results we expected. Sometimes our prayers take awhile before they are answered. Often times this means that God is working behind the scenes to make things happen. In Luke 18:1-8, Jesus teaches us to keep praying and never give up. And the Bible assures us countless times that God hears our prayers. We have to keep faith alive and stay anchored to Him.
Pray without ceasing. – 1 Thessalonians 5:17
Also, sometimes we feel discouraged if things go differently than we wanted. It is true that not all of our prayers will be answered in the way we hoped. We have to trust that the Lord knows what is best in our lives. If things go differently than we hoped, it is important to remember that God can see the big picture and we cannot.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. – Proverbs 3:5
Another reason why we might struggle with prayer is because we don’t always have the right words. That is okay. We don’t have to be eloquent when talking to God. We can just speak to Him like we are speaking to a friend. Open up to Him, share your thoughts and feelings, and remember that He is on your side. If you keep in mind the love and devotion that the Lord has for you, this will help you to speak more freely to Him.
I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. – John 15:15
A third reason why some of us shy away from prayer is because we are used to handling everything ourselves. Perhaps over your life circumstances have taught you that you have to be strong, you have to stay in control, and if you want something done you have to do it yourself. There is nothing wrong with being proactive, accomplishing things, and working hard. But we cannot try to take over for God. We have to remember that He is the ruler of our lives. And when we also keep in mind that He is eager to help us, it takes a heavy weight off of our shoulders.
The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still. – Exodus 14:14
Some might also struggle to speak to God due to feelings of guilt. The first step in having a relationship with the Lord is to confess our sins and repent from them. This is customary when we first accept Jesus into our lives. But after that initial prayer, we might have to confess and repent on other occasions if we are holding onto sin in our lives. If there is something in your life that you know needs to go, take it to the Lord today. Tell Him you are sorry for whatever it is, and ask for His help in walking away from it. Then remember that you are forgiven and you do not need to feel guilty any longer. You might have to keep reminding yourself of the last point. Remember that God loves you and no longer sees your past mistakes. This will help you to approach His throne with confidence.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. – 1 John 1:9
These are just a few reasons why we might struggle with prayer. If prayer is something you have a hard time with, please take time today to give this some thought to see where your roadblocks might be. Once you define where your struggles are, you will have the ability to take action and overcome whatever is holding you back. And then you will have a new sense of freedom as you meet with God daily in prayer.
© 2021 Bridget A. Thomas