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Why you don't like prayer

The worst kept secret among most Christians, particularly in America, is that we have little to no prayer life. Even worse, I have found that many aren’t even sure what a prayer life is. This isn’t a dig on anyone, it’s just reality. For most of us, the idea of spending extended time with a God that is real, present, and interested in us, is something we all want. We all want to pray more; we know it’s important. But we don’t do it. Why is that?

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Here are a couple reasons:

First, we don’t take it seriously in our schedule. We tend plan the time that isn’t work or family related emotionally. When it comes to work, driving kids to volleyball practice, making dinner; it’s very practical. Those are things we have to do, so we put them in our schedule, and everything gets planned around them. The rest of the time is usually managed based on what we have the emotional energy for. Prayer usually gets the shaft here.

Second, based on having had this conversation with many people the last 22 years of ministry; we don’t know where to start. Maybe we sit down to start praying, but we quickly realize that we don’t know what to do. I mean He’s the matchless, eternal, uncreated God who created the universe by saying stuff, and I’m just a dude from Dudesville doing dude stuff. Where do you start? You’ve got bills, coworkers that talk about you behind your back, and a spouse you argue with about who is going to help the kids with homework tonight. Whatever you got going on, when you sit down to pray and your brain has plenty to say, but nothing to pray. You aren’t alone. That’s everyone. We’ll come back to this.

Third, it’s boring. Now Pastor Zack, are you allowed to admit that prayer is boring? Well yes actually, the way most of us try to pray is very boring. Most of us list for God our needs or the needs of others in silence. Our needs tend to be all the negative things happening. So yes, to sit in silence and list everything negative things asking for them to not be so negative for 30 minutes, sounds dismal.

So how do we start? How do we get a prayer life?

Well let’s work back through the above points.

Prayer is boring: learn this: We pray because God is beautiful, not because He is useful. Prayer is boring because it’s something you’re trying to do, a means to an end. Prayer is about God. The purpose of prayer isn’t about anything but interacting with Him. When you realize that God is real, present, and looking forward to talking with you, it changes how you pray. Try this next time you go to pray: Talk to Him like He’s in the room, because He is. Take 60 seconds, close your eyes so you’re not distracted, and speak truth. “God you’re here. You’re with me. You love me. Thank you for meeting with me.” Say this a couple of times before you pray anything else and pause in-between to give God space to talk back to you. Prayer stops being boring when it goes from a list to a conversation with a person. A person who is God.

We don’t know where to start: Pray the Psalms. If you don’t know where to start in prayer, don’t have the words to say, use the Bible’s. Start with the famous Psalms. Like Psalm 23, read, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.”. Pray, “God you are my shepherd,”. Let it snowball from here, “You’re my leader. You’re a good leader, thank you for your leadership in my life. I trust you God.” Pray like that for a minute then pause. Make space for God to speak back to you. Prayer is a conversation. It’s not talking at God; it’s talking with God.

We don’t take it seriously in our schedule: Get a vision and a plan for your prayer life. The reason scheduling work and family is easy, is because you have a vision for it. You value it. Funny thing is, as Christian’s we tend to say, “God is first, Family second, Career third. You gotta put God first!” Yet our schedules rarely reflect that because we don’t have a vision for it. Do you want to be a Christian that simply attends church on Sunday and gets a little radical from time to time and makes a special worship night? Or do you want to actually know the God you’ll stand before at the end of this life? The main reason why we don’t pray is because we don’t value it in our schedules. Start with 15 minutes a day. Set it in your schedule and make it sacred. Have a goal for that to become 30 minutes in six months, 45 minutes in a year, and so on. When you touch the living God in prayer, it become the delight that you only ever want more of. So start small, don’t quit, and watch your heart grow.

God is beautiful. He’s a living wonder. We were made in His image. We’ll only really understand who we are and why we’re here when we know who He is. The more we know Him the more we grow in love for Him. The more prayer goes from being a religious duty to a sought-after delight.

Try some of these things, share it with your friends on social media, and let me know what you have found helps you enjoy prayer!

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