Problems With Prayer?
I must confess that my prayer life is far from perfect. I suspect that in your prayer life you have some of the same problems that I have. Therefore I will list some of the problems in my prayer life in the hope that you will recognize them in your own. With the Lord*s help may we all strive to improve our prayer.
My prayer life is not all that I want it to be.
My prayer life is not all that God wants it to be.
My prayer life will never be perfect while I am in this flesh.
How can my prayer life become more what I want it to be and more what God wants it to be?
The fault is not with God. The fault is always with me.
Prayer will be the first thing I do if I trust the Lord. Prayer will be the final thing I do if I trust the Lord. Prayer will be in the middle of everything if I trust the Lord.
Everything that is wrong with our churches or our personal lives is caused by our faulty prayer lives.
Luke 18:1: And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;
What specifically goes wrong with my prayer life?
I pray according to my will and not God*s will. I pray selfishly.
God*s will for Ron is what is best for Ron.
I want to finish things. If I pray always my prayer is never finished.
I get satisfaction from finishing things so I can move on to the next thing. I ought to be content in the doing of prayer not in finishing it.
I pray for things -- for answers. I ought to pray just to be talking to God. If I love God more than the things I pray about, my prayer will be more correct.
If I desire God more than the things my prayer will be more correct.
If I love to communicate with God my prayer will be more correct.
I ought to pray to be changed -- not to just have a changed environment.
I ought to pray to please God -- not just myself.
The main issue with prayer ought not be the answer it ought to be the communication with God -- the seeking of His will.
My prayers are wrong because I am lazy.
My prayers are wrong because I am ungrateful to God.
My prayers are wrong because I am impatient.
Church signboard: Hurry is the death of Prayer.
Isaiah 40:31: But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
We don*t pray enough for ourselves. We may not realize that we are supposed to pray for ourselves.
1 Chronicles 4:10: And Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, Oh that thou wouldest bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast, and that thine hand might be with me, and that thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me! And God granted him that which he requested.
As I pray for the folks on my prayer list, I pray for and know many of the things they need. As I pray for them I realize I have the same needs. One fellow seems very unwise. I need wisdom. One Christian is very cool towards the Lord. I am sometimes cool towards the Lord. One lady lives a life of almost total confusion. My life is not as orderly as it could be. One fellow has many unsaved loved ones. I have unsaved loved ones. One fellow is ungracious in his witness. I am sometimes ungracious in my witness. One fellow is ignorant of the things of God. I am ignorant of many of the things of God. One woman is simply not committed as deeply to the Lord as she ought to be. I am not as deeply committed as I ought to be.
As I pray for them I realize I need a measure of everything that I pray for every one of them. Sometimes I need more of what I pray for them than they do.
I pray without seeking the help of the Holy Spirit.
When I am walking in the flesh my prayers are wrong.
James 4:3: Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.
I pray at times to please men.
I pray at times not to offend men.
Sometimes I don*t pray because other men don*t want me to.
Sometimes I don*t pray just because I think other men don*t want me to.
Sometimes I don*t pray because it would be a sign of weakness on my part. (We are all weak.)
Sometimes I don*t pray because I don*t recognize my neediness.
Sometimes I don*t pray because I am ashamed of my need for God.
I don*t pray when I am proud.
I do pray when I am humble.
Sometimes I don*t pray because I don*t care that others get what they need from God. (I am unloving.)
Sometimes I don*t pray for someone because I am angry at them.
Sometimes I don*t pray because I wish bad things for people.
Sometimes I don*t pray because I take God*s blessings for granted.
Sometimes I don*t pray because I think the things I would pray for are too big -- too colossal and I should only expect answers to prayers for small things.
Sometimes I don*t pray because I don*t trust in how big and great God is.
Sometimes I don*t pray about small things because I don*t think God cares about small things. (He cares about everything.)
Sometimes I don*t pray because I don*t think God would care about things that I don*t care about. (God cares about an abundance of things that I do not.)
Sometimes I don*t pray because my world is so small.
I don*t pray because I forget all the past prayers that have been answered. (Keeping a journal of answered prayers can help this one.)
Sometimes we don*t know God*s will. Focusing on the answers He gives is one of the greatest ways to learn what God*s will is. We should focus on the answered prayers because they are definitely God*s will. Knowing what God*s will was in the past will help us know what it will probably be in the future.
If you have trouble keeping a journal of answered prayers, just save the part of your church bulletin that lists praises for answered prayers.
Sometimes I don*t pray because I don*t want no for an answer.
I forget than when God gives us a no answer, God*s no is the best answer.
When God is silent, it is because His silence is the best thing for us.
Sometimes I don*t pray because I want God to be different. (God forgives me.)
Sometimes I don*t pray because I have been disappointed. (There goes my flesh again.)
Sometimes I don*t pray because it looks like I can handle this thing myself.
Sometimes I have been critical in my heart of other people*s prayers.
Sometimes I am thrilled by other people*s prayers.
Sometimes my prayers are not powerful because I have not fasted.
Matthew 17:21: Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.
There is more power in prayer when there is both prayer and fasting.
Fasting does not mean we must give up any genuine need that we have. Fasting can just be delaying some desire or need. Fasting can be eating what is healthy rather than what is tasty. Fasting can be giving up luxuries other than food. Fasting is simply sacrificing something that we want in order to please the Lord. Fasting can put us under the control of the Holy Spirit rather than our flesh.
I pray at times so other men will get what they need. Sometimes I have a sense that what others ask me to pray for is not what God wants them to have. I then pray for God*s will instead of what has been requested.
Sometimes I don*t pray correctly because I haven*t spent enough time in the Bible.
Proverbs 28:9: He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination.
Reading the Bible and doubting it is an active way of rejecting it. Not spending enough time in the word is another way of rejecting it. The Bible is the primary place where we learn the will of God. If we reject the Bible of God we reject the Will of God. Without the Bible we can never pray according to God*s will.
Sometimes I don*t pray because I have not seen the answer to past prayers. God knows which answers I should see now and which answers I should see later.
Every prayer every Christian has ever prayed is preserved in heaven. I believe that God will make us understand when we get to heaven every answer to every prayer we have ever prayed.
Revelation 8:3: And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne.
How many prayers do you have up there?
Sometimes I don*t pray because I don*t recognize that my prayers are something that I give to God. They are a proper part of worship of Him. We give Him the prayers -- He gives us the answers.
Sometimes my prayers are wrong because I pray as if I know something that God doesn*t.
Matthew 6:8: Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.
Sometimes I do not pray because I do not remember that prayer is my main and most important task. For Christ prayer was the work, the foundation, the beginning place. The rest of his time was the result and the reward and the fruit of the prayer. He fought the battle in prayer. He enjoyed the victory in the rest of His activity.
I have only met one Christian who told me his only ministry was prayer. When I asked him what he did for the Lord he said simply and happily: I am an intercessor.
People pray the best who are the most committed to God.
People pray the best who are the humblest.
Sometimes I don*t pray because I forget that I will have the help of the Holy Spirit and God will erase all the shortcomings of my prayers.
Romans 8:26: Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
Even though my prayer life leaves much to be desired, my striving to make it better pleases the Lord.