One of my favorite quotes on prayer comes from puritan, John Owen. He writes, “I had rather learn what some men really judge about their own justification from their prayers than their writings.” In other words, what and how one prays speaks volumes more about their godly character than what they might thoughtfully write out.
I think Owen is getting at the heart of why Christians struggle to pray daily. In short, we don’t think it’s significant or worth our time. We may know the value cognitively, but unless we possess a deep understanding our sin and need for forgiveness, our prayer life will be infrequent and often self-centered. I say this as much to anyone who reads this as I do to remind myself of my need to return to the throne of grace.
The irony of a christian blogger sharing that Owen quote is not lost on me.
Consistent prayer is something I have struggled with for years. If I am honest, there are days that it is easier to sit down and write about God than to actually speak to Him. I, just like the disciples in Luke 1:1, need help in learning to pray. My mind recognizes my need of prayer, but my heart is too busy chasing worldly things. Oh, that my heart would know it, too!It is far too easy to blame the busyness of work, family, or even church activities, as the reason why I can’t find time to pray. It is easy to justify to myself that the blogs I write or the books I read satisfy my daily “sanctification”, or godly activity, for the day. If there is one thing I am good at, its convincing myself that I have sanctification under control – yet my prayer life says otherwise. Lord, help my unbelief!
I encourage you to take a moment a watch the short video below (its only about 3 minutes long). Pastor Casey Hough has some powerful commentary on why Christians struggle to pray daily.