If my core values as a Christian don’t include a serious prayer life, there must be a good reason.
- If I’m not praying, it could be that I don’t really believe in God. Most atheists and agnostics say they can’t pray because they don’t believe in a Supreme Being. Why bother to pray? There’s no one there to hear you. It’s useless.
- If I’m not praying, it could be that I don’t believe God cares. So if there is a God but I’m not praying, I must’ve decided that this God doesn’t care to hear what I have to say. Maybe this God is so distant and transcendent that He has no use for human beings. Maybe this God never notices me or my puny problems. Maybe “God” is just a force of nature instead of an intelligent, loving being.
- If I’m not praying, it could be that I don’t believe prayer works. Maybe I’ve prayed before again and again, but didn’t see the answer I was looking for. Maybe I figured that answered prayers are for others, but not for me. It could be that I’ve never been able to get much traction in a prayer life because I don’t understand how it works. And that I emphasize the prayer failures I see around me rather than what the Bible says about prayer.
- If I’m not praying, it could be I think I can handle my own life without help. Maybe I think that if I ask God for help it will obligate me. I’ll have to let God take over my life in ways I’m not ready for. Maybe I’m afraid that if I rely on Him I’ll get disappointed. So why bother? Just forge ahead and handle my own life.
- If I’m not praying, it could be that I don’t believe Jesus’ life as a man of prayer is valid. We all know Jesus prayed and taught His disciples to pray. We can tell from the Gospels that He prayed strenuously and with supreme dedication, sometimes praying all night long. And even praying till His sweat was mixed with blood. But if I don’t believe that He’s my Lord and I’m His disciple, I won’t pursue His kind of prayer life.
- If I’m not praying, it could be that I don’t understand that Jesus and the Holy Spirit are both praying for me. Maybe I haven’t realized I’m not alone. That when I’m praying, the Lord prays. And the Spirit prays, too. (Romans 8:26 & 8:34)
- If I’m not praying, it could be that I’m just too busy.
“Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.” (Luke 18:1 NIV)