The Problem with Prayer

THE PROBLEM WITH PRAYER Why is it that people will stay after church for a pot luck lunch, but won’t turn up for the prayer meeting? The truth is that we really don’t believe in prayer as much as we say we do. The trouble is that without a really close relationship with God which gives us the assurance that He will actually take action on the basis of our prayers, there is nothing tangible to show us that our time is well spent. And in this day and age time is at a premium.

There are syoung-business-man-praying-10063936o many things to do and so little time to do it in. There are no flashing lights, no gold star on the achievement chart and no obvious, trackable results when we pray. Even if we watch for answers to prayer, it often seems when those answers come, that there is a question about whether the thing would have happened anyway.

Almost everything we do in life has a payoff. Brush your teeth regularly and you won’t get tooth decay. Be kind to your wife and she’ll be more motivated to look after your needs. Turn up for work each day and get a regular paypacket. Prayer is different. Although we may have seen many answers to prayer, we have also seen that God doesn’t necessarily answer the way we expect or in the time frame we expect. In fact, the end result is entirely in His hands. We have no control over the results, which leads many people to question “does it work”? Of course we have a problem right there, because “it” doesn’t work. Either it’s God who does the work, or nothing happens. In other words, prayer is absolutely a work of faith and though we talk a lot about faith, our prayer life will have a lot to say about whether we have faith – or not. Sadly, we reveal our lack of faith when we make statements like this one: “Well, we’ve done everything we can. Now all we can do is pray”, as though prayer is a last resort.

How much of the divine purpose do we miss through lack of prayer?

The Bible clearly tells us that we should “pray continually” – 1 Thessalonians 5:17, and that “The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results”. – James 5:16 Not only do we not really believe it (or we would do a lot more praying), but we are also disobeying God by not praying, and/or dishonouring God by our weak, short and very limited prayers. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. – Ephesians 6:18 Part of the problem is that we would rather be busy “doing” the work. We get a sense of achievement from our busy work. It feels like we are getting things done and there is truth in this, but how much more would be achieved if we earnestly prayed? When we seek God earnestly in prayer and wait to hear what He’s saying to us, He can speak deep into our spirit, but when we do not set aside the time to wait on Him He can only speak into our thoughts. These thoughts and plans will enable us to do His work, but the work won’t have a lot of depth. Only God’s words spoken deep into our spirit will bring forth fruit of eternal value, and this deep work of the Spirit will only bear fruit in our lives and the lives of others as we lay aside the thoughts of time and action and wait upon Him in the stillness and quietness of the secret place. People often ask how much time they should spend in prayer. A good guideline is this – pray until time no longer matters. Of course, you can only do this when you have time to call your own.

Enjoy your prayer times – God does


About The Author

Kerrie Price

I am a grandmother and a recently retired pastor. On my retirement I decided I needed a new interest in life and wanted to supplement my income. I have chosen to use my skills as a Christian Life Coach, and to learn new skills in the field of Internet Marketing, and though I haven't been on the journey very long, it has been a most interesting one. There is a great deal to learn and many wonderful people to meet via the Internet. I am enjoying this new stage of my life, and hope to help others who want to improve their circumstances and make a change for the better.

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