Prayer is a spiritual discipline that most Christians are familiar with but most of us are frustrated with at times. Why don’t Christians pray more?
We don’t know how. If you didn’t grow up in church, or even if you did, praying can be incredibly intimidating, especially if you grew up in a formal church where the pastor prayed and he always threw in these $3 theological words like “Dearest thou-et Jehovah Jireh, I pontificate the ornate array of your trinitarian sanctification Holy Ghost something something.” It can make it seem like you need a seminary Bible degree just to pray right.
We don’t think we can. Maybe you grew up in or near a religious environment where it was taught that not everyone could pray, that’s what the priests are for. Or maybe you thought that your sins messed you up enough where God wouldn’t hear your prayers anymore. I remember several times as a pastor, when I was at funerals, you’d get people from every walk of life. There was usually some older gentlemen who’d never darkened the door of the church in decades, but he knew the recently deceased and the whole prospect of death would rattle him and make him think. And over the years some of them would ask me to pray on their behalf. “When you talk to the man upstairs, please mention my name,” or something to that effect, as if they couldn’t talk to God on their own. In the minds of some people, there is no bat phone, there is no direct connection to God.
We don’t think it works. Or we don’t think we’re doing it right, because whatever or however we’re praying. It’s not working. Your life isn’t getting any easier, you didn’t pass that test, your family member isn’t well yet, you haven’t won the lottery. You asked God for something and He didn’t give you what you asked for, so does prayer even work?
QUESTION: What’s been your experience with prayer?