5 Reasons Why I Don’t Pray (And Why I’m Wrong)

5 Reasons Why I Don’t Pray (And Why I’m Wrong) May 21, 2024

Pray Silhouette

5. It’s Boring

I shouldn’t be bored when I pray. I should be able to focus on the things that I need to pray for, but more and more, I find it harder and harder to block out the distractions. I bombard my mind with outside stimuli to the point where any internal mental strength has atrophied.

I cannot sit for too long by myself without wanting to grab my phone or play some music. I justify it to myself by playing worship music to get my mind to focus on God, but the truth is that I only feel a need for outside distractions. Sitting with my thoughts, praying for people and their needs, and even just talking to God does not inspire excitement in my heart.

This is a problem of perspective. Prayer is meant to be a quiet, intimate moment with God that reframes our view of our lives and needs, even more so if we are interceding for others. I am meant to spend time with the Lord, be a watchman on the walls, lift others up, and bring their needs to God.

If I cannot pray without getting bored, I have bombarded my mind with too many distractions. The only way to get past this is to go and sit in quiet solitude. If I can go outside and observe a sunrise or sunset while in silent prayer, I need to take it.

4. I Don’t Have Time To

Prayer is great for people who are retired or without kids. If my job were in the ministry, I would start with daily prayer. My prayer life would be so full and abundant if only I had fewer responsibilities. And even on weekends, there are too many things that I have to get done.

Besides, God understands. He gave me all of these things that I have to do. Plus, He expects me to be a good steward of all He has given me. I simply do not have time to set aside a specific period every single day to pray.

This is ridiculous on its face. I find time to do many unnecessary things. I can tell myself that I need to do them for my own sanity or that I deserve some “me time.” I can easily find time to spend with friends or family. I can wake up earlier when work demands it or to get in a workout.

“Me time,” though, is needed in our lives. But prayer time should be essential to our “me time.” In fact, prayer is the most essential “me time.” If we are in communion with God, then we will be filled up, and we will not feel that we need to fulfill some other part of ourselves.

3. I Feel Like I’m Just Talking to Myself

I can go through the motions and say the words, but I cannot lie to myself. No matter how many times I pray, there are always times when I feel like nobody is listening. After a day when I dedicate the time to prayer and feel nothing, it is very hard for me to find the motivation the following day.

Even if I know, theoretically, that God is listening, feeling the lack of response drains my desire for continued discipline.

This is a self-perpetuating cycle. Once I pray and feel like God is not listening, I do not want to pray the following day. Then, the less I pray and spend time with God, the less I feel He is listening. And so it goes around and around until I take the step of discipline.

I need to move beyond my feelings and trust in His word. If He says that He listens to all of my prayers, then that is all I need to continue to pray. As long I continue to be faithful, then it doesn’t matter what my feelings are. I know He is hearing my prayers, which is enough to continue in them.

2. It’s Not Necessary

I spend time with the Lord. I read my Bible. I sing worship songs. I go to church on Sunday. I even volunteer to serve. What else is needed?

Besides, God already knows what I will pray before I even pray it. In fact, He knows better what I need than even I do. His word says that He knows us better than we know ourselves. If this is the case, why do I need to pray? He knows my thoughts. I cannot surprise or shock God.

I fully believe in God’s sovereignty. God is 100% in control of everything. I also fully believe in God’s omniscience. He knows everything. He knows my innermost thoughts. Going through the act of prayer seems superfluous.

Furthermore, I am not in any crisis at the moment. All of my basic needs are met, and my family is doing alright. There is nothing that I need to be praying for. Sure, I can pray for others in need, and I will do that when I remember them, but a regular, consistent time of prayer is simply unnecessary because I have everything I need.

If I only pray when in a crisis, I can expect to have crisis after crisis. God’s desire is that I learn and grow in my relationship with Him. If I only seek Him when I have trouble, I will experience a lot of trouble.

Prayer is about relationship. It is not about informing God. Like I said, God already knows everything. But surrendering my thoughts to Him in prayer and supplication is a demonstration of my faith and love of Him. Plus, it is an obligation that we have to “pray continually” (1 Thessalonians 5:16).

We are meant to bring everything to God, submitting them to Him. When we do this, our faith increases because we trust God with our thoughts, feelings, needs, wants, and lives. It is an act of submission to God’s will that puts us in the right position to be used by Him.

1. It Doesn’t Change Anything

God is sovereign. He is going to do what He is going to do. When I pray, I can’t really change God’s mind about anything. He already knows what is best for me. So then, what is the point of praying?

When I needed something and went to God, praying, asking, and even begging, He did not answer my prayer. How often do I need to ask God for help without Him giving it to me?

If I honestly believed that praying would change something, then I would do it more often. However, any results that come have another explanation. They can easily be explained without prayer.

Praying for others is the same. I can pray until I am blue in the face, but the more I do, the more it seems that God is going to let happen everything that He already has planned to happen. It doesn’t seem like anything changes when I pray, so then I don’t pray.

When it comes to our needs or the needs of others, we need to be like the widow from Luke 18, persistent in our petitions. Not because God doesn’t know the needs that we are praying for, but because we are submitting them to Him, trusting that He will take care of them. The Israelites were slaves in Egypt for some 400 years before God delivered them. Just because God has not done anything yet, doesn’t mean that He is not going to do anything.

James 5:16 says, “The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” If my prayers are ineffective, perhaps I need to do a better job at seeking righteousness.

But changing God’s mind about something is not the reason to pray. I need to pray to transform my own mind so that I can better understand His will. When I have surrendered my own desires and replaced them with His, I will be much more effective at praying because I will be praying in accordance with the Holy Spirit.

Nothing Should Stop Me from Praying

I can find a myriad of reasons not to pray. In the end, none of them matter. If I have chosen to follow God, which I have, then part of that is submitting my time, desires, and life to Him. I can only know Him better by spending time with Him. And I can only align my life with His will by praying often and consistently.

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