Jesus taught His disciples how to pray and it has been a model for us to follow today. He gave us this blueprint to follow for confession petition and praise.
The act of prayer continues today as more than half of Americans use prayer to communicate with God. Prayer has been an ongoing presence in the nation since the Continental Congress called a day for the colonists to seek God regarding the forming of a new nation in 1775. One would think that we should have this prayer thing all buttoned up and mastered by now since Jesus taught us the "Lord's Prayer" over 2,000 years ago. The truth is, we may never figure everything out regarding our prayer life or what is happening on the other end. We can't look at prayer as something humanly engineered, but it is an act of obedience. Here are 7 problems that we have with prayer.
Prayer is not about bargaining.Prayer is not about manipulation and trying to alter your circumstances with words. We all encounter trying to battle it out with God as to why He is not moving on our behalf. What happens next is that we try to bargain with God. The ending is still the same as God does not give in. Every person who follows Christ does this and will continually do so through long prayers. King Solomon realized bargaining with God is moot. "Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few," he wrote according to Ecclesiastes 5. Our advice here is to still pray. However, back off from trying to challenge God.
We believe that prayer is not important.Christians believe in God's sovereignty. Meaning things happen according to God's will. Yet, finding God's perfect will could be hidden in prayer. "Our prayers can have a positive influence on the world and the people in it. Also, some things are predestined by God, while others are not," Focus on the Family explained regarding this divisive issue. "The ones that are not are the ones that we can indeed influence through prayer." If Jesus told us to pray, there was a reason as we never know what is being tied up in the spiritual realm.
We can't rush God.We know that we can't manipulate or bargain with God when we demand our way. But we also can't rush God. This is not only painful but distressing to the believer if they feel that they did everything accurately. It is important that we vent to God about our frustrations, but in the end, we have no control of the seasons of our lives. If you need help in this area, Jeremiah 2:25 offered insight: “Slow down. Take a deep breath. What’s the hurry? Why wear yourself out? Just what are you after anyway?” Being still is not our forte. However, sometimes we don't have a choice.
We lack humility.We all lack humility. Not that we are pointing fingers your way, but all of us are guilty of telling God what to do! 1 Peter 5:6-7, said to “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.” The Bible said it is a privilege to approach God. There is power in approaching Him in humility.
Power is not in prayer.Prayer is important as we described. Yet, the power is in God, not in the prayer. Think of prayer as a weapon that is used to allow God to work on your behalf. We don't have the capability to, we use prayer as a tool to make a dent in the Heavenlies. Jeremiah 32:17 said “‘Ah, Lord God! Behold, Thou hast made the heavens and the earth by Thy great power and by Thine outstretched arm! Nothing is too difficult for Thee." The words are powerful, but the Creator is even more majestic. This is the same with prayer. Jesus said that with men it is impossible, but with God, all things are possible. Proverbs 3:5 instructed us to “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding."
We give up when disappointed.When we recognize God’s goodness, even in our disappointment, we begin to really know God. We can only do this by shifting focus on God. Prayerlessness could take God out of the picture. Not only that, it really is something that satan wants you to do. If satan can keep you from praying, he will make you more vulnerable in your life to attacks. The enemy wants you to be passionless and not to pray. By not praying, you will feel subdued and withdrawn. "It leaves a man in this world with its tremendous responsibilities and its difficult problems, and with all of its sorrows, burdens and afflictions, without any God at all," CBN reported. If you are dealing with a disappointment right now, know that you can go to God in prayer. Know that some things are just not meant for us.
“In this world, you will have trouble," John reminded us. We tend to forget this fact as a believer and perhaps believe that all things should work the way we want it to. This is the same thing regarding our prayer lives. We can do our best, but ultimately it's God who will have to shatter illusions and give us peace. More importantly, don't give up on Him or prayer if there is a dead end. We don't have all the answers but recognize that God still adores you and is working on your behalf.