Do you struggle with prayer? Don’t know what to say or how to say it? Feel like your prayers aren’t working and God isn’t answering? Prayer can be quite a struggle for many of us. But, why is prayer so hard and how can we improve?
“The man (or woman) who misses the deep meanings of prayer has not so much refused an obligation; he has robbed himself of life’s supreme privilege – friendship with God.” ~Harry Emerson Fosdick in The Meaning of Prayer
7 Reasons We Struggle With Prayer
I’ve struggled with prayer for the better part of my life. I knew it was important but didn’t feel its connection to my life. I prayed because I was supposed to pray and I hoped it might help. Even though I did pray, I didn’t feel its power and potency in my life. I saw others, though, for whom prayer was essential and life-sustaining – and wondered what I was missing.
Maybe you also struggle with prayer? Below are 7 reasons many of us do struggle with prayer. I could have checked “yes” to each of these at some point in my life. Do any of these ring true to you?
- We feel like failures at prayer and like God doesn’t answer our prayers.
- We place an emphasis on own power and work ethic to problem-solve and neglect to pray.
- We approach prayer like a child bringing a list to Santa and thus belittle the power of prayer.
- We value what God does more than we value who God is.
- We view prayer as an obligation (something we have to do), instead of a privilege (something we get to do).
- Because prayer is always available to us, we often don’t take the time to do it.
- We focus on results, not relationship, and so grow impatient when we don’t see immediate results.
Prayer Is About Relationship, Not Results
Do you see a trend in those seven statements? They speak to the focus of our prayers. Are we praying for results? Only praying when we need something? Or, are we using prayer as an opportunity to draw near to the Almighty and develop a relationship?
When we approach prayer as an opportunity to develop a relationship with God and to discover the depth of faith, prayer becomes an honor and a privilege – something we desire, instead of one more thing we are duty-bound to complete.
Prayer is not…
… An obligation, something we do to curry favor with God
… A “good luck charm” we call upon out of superstition
… Just for Sundays at church
… Formal and empty
If your experience with prayer falls into any of these categories, how can you change it? How can prayer become something more important in your life and in your faith? How can you experience the life-changing power of prayer?
The 1 Solution to Your Struggle With Prayer
If you want to turn your prayer life around, and discover something truly powerful and transformational, pray for a relationship with God, not results from God. Focus first on developing the relationship. Get to know God and share your life with him.
- Pray for a relationship with God.
- Pray for who God is.
- Pray for your eyes to be opened to the possibilities of a relationship with God.
- Pray for enlightenment in prayer.
- Pray for God’s strength and power to fill you.
- Pray for patience in the waiting.
- Pray prayers of thanksgiving and gratitude for how God loves you.
“The tragedy of the Church is to be found in the thousands who fondle their credal maps, on which are marked the roadways of God’s friendship, but who do not travel.” ~Harry Emerson Fosdick in The Meaning of Prayer
Are you holding the map to faith and friendship and God, but not embarking on the journey?
We have a loving, relational God who desires to know you personally. He has shown us how to know him through the scriptures, yet too often we read but don’t act. We study, but don’t take the steps. Will you step forward into the journey of a relationship with God? Ask him today.
Ready to begin your prayer transformation? Spend 40 days praying through the Lord’s Prayer. You’ll not only learn to pray this most familiar prayer with fresh eyes, but you’ll also build your prayer language and spend time deepening your relationship with God. Click here to learn more.