Why many people do not pray
We all know about and love to form relationships with others. One way we do this is through communication, talking. Is this the same with God, and if this is true how can we communicate or talk to God? They are many people who believes that we cannot have a personal relationship with God has He is too big and have more important things to do than talk to His creation.
Many will agree that he talked with the prophets and holy men and women in the Bible but he for some reason decided he is now too busy to talk to anyone outside of the Bible, and our conscience. The sad fact is that many people are now believing this lie and thus do not seek after God as they should. They have become comfortable with only knowing and hearing God through the Bible. Another set of people simple do not pray and many who wants to, do not know what prayer is, why they should bother to pray and how to pray.
What is prayer?
Praying is basically talking to God and involves: making a request, petition, worship and praise, being thankful, appeal and supplication. There is no special formulas or methods of praying (only that we should approach God with humility and reference), neither is there a particular time, day or way of praying e.g. sitting, kneeling, standing etc, in fact you can be walking and praying to God as you would with your friend. Praying is like talking to your father, mother or close friend.
Prayer may be oral mental, or formal. It is “beseeching the Lord” (Ex 32:11); “pouring out the soul before the Lord” (1 Sam. 1:15); “praying and crying to heaven” (2 Chr. 32:20); “seeking unto God and making supplication” (Job 8:5); “drawing near to God” (Ps.73:28); “bowing the knees” (Eph. 3:14).
Though it is so easy to talk to God, yet so many of us seem not to be able to find few minutes each day to talk to our heavenly father, creator, deliverer and sustainer. Many of us only find time to pray when we need help with something, in trouble or need money or just need something from God. But should these be the only time we pray? NO!! Do you only talk to your parents when you need something from them? No! In fact talking is one important way in which we as humans build relationship, we are social beings.
Just like how we talk to others, it’s the same way our heavenly Father wants, even begs us to talk to him; God want to hear from his creation. We were created to have a close relationship with God. God used to visit Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden to just talk, about any and everything (Genesis 3:8-9)
Who should I pray to?
Prayer should not be made to any man, angels, demons, idols or anything else other than the one true and living God. Why should you put your trust and make many prayers to something that was created by God, man or to someone that is a mere man? Anything you pray to make sure it is good enough to be your God, make sure it can heal you when you’re sick or raise you from the dead. Make sure it is not created or equal to any man or machine upon the face of this world. Make sure it, like angels and demons who were created, it was not created to serve mankind. God is the only one deserves the right to demand prayers and it is him that will answer (Jer 33:2-3; 1 Jh 5:13-15). Prayers should also be made in the name of Jesus (e.g. Mt 18:19-20; Jh 15:16).
Does God answer prayers?
One of the reason many people do not pray is because they believe God will not answer them, or even listen to their prayers. We know from reading the bible of men and women who cried out to God in prayer and God answered their prayers, for example, Hannah could not have any children as she was barren (1 Samuel 1), we are told that when she prayed to God he answered her prayers and she conceived and bear a child by the name of Samuel who later became a Prophet and Judge of Israel, not only that she had more children after this. However, does God answers all prayers? The answer is no!! God does not answer all prayers. When you approach God with pride and do not humble yourself before the sovereign ruler he will not answer your prayers ”Though the LORD be high, yet hath he respect unto the lowly: but the proud he knoweth afar of”-Psalms 138:6. The bible also tells us that wickedness will cause God to hide his face from you and do not answer your prayers:
‘‘And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood.‘‘- Isaiah 1:15
N.B: Please note that hating someone is just like committing murder in the eyes of God (1 John 3:15)
”But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear. For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue hath muttered perverseness (wickedness).”- Isaiah 59:2-3
However, when you humble yourself before God and have a repentant heart then he will listen to your prayers. Acceptable prayer must be sincere (Heb. 10:22), with reverence and godly fear, with a humble sense of our own insignificance as creatures and of our own unworthiness as sinners, with earnest importunity, and with unhesitating submission to the divine will of God. When we pray we must pray in faith that God is, and is the hearer and answerer of prayer, and that he will fulfil his word, “Ask, and ye shall receive” (Matt. 7:7, 8; 21:22; Mark 11:24; John 14:13, 14), and in the name of Christ (16:23, 24; 15:16; Eph. 2:18; 5:20; Col. 3:17; 1 Pet. 2:5).
Many of us have given up on praying because we believe that God did not answer our prayers. However, God always answers our prayer, it’s either a yes, no, or not yet. God will not give you something that you are not ready for, or he is not ready to give you. Just like a loving father will not always give his children everything they ask for because either they are not ready for it or it is not good for them; neither will God grant every request we make. Our earthly father sometimes when they should have said yes said no but God never makes a mistake.
Examples of prayers being answered:
Hannah prayed for a child and God grant her wish- 1 Samuel 1:9-20
Daniel delivered from the lions- Daniel 6:16-22
Daniel prayed for answers and understanding- Daniel 9:3,21-23
Abraham’s servant prayed to God, and God directed him to person who should be wife to his master’s son and heir (Gen. 24:10-20).
Jacob prayed to God, and God inclined the heart of his irritated brother, so that they met in peace and friendship (Gen. 32:24-30; 33:1-4).
Samson prayed to God, and God showed him a well where he quenched his burning thirst, and so lived to judge Israel (Judg. 15:18-20).
David prayed, and God defeated the counsel of Ahithophel (2 Sam. 15:31; 16:20-23; 17:14-23).
Daniel prayed, and God enabled him both to tell Nebuchadnezzar his dream and to give the interpretation of it (Dan. 2: 16-23).
Esther and Mordecai prayed, and God defeated the purpose of Haman, and saved the Jews from destruction (Esther 4:15-17; 6:7, 8).
The believers in Jerusalem prayed, and God opened the prison doors and set Peter at liberty, when Herod had resolved upon his death (Acts 12:1-12).
Elijah prayed and the fire of the LORD fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench- 1 King 18:36-38
Elisha prayed and God raised the Shunammite son that was dead- 2 King 4:32-35
Jesus prayed then break bread and fed about five thousand men, beside women and children with 5 loaves of bread & 2 fishes- Matthew 14: 17-21
They are many more examples I could give of people who prayed and God answered their prayers; but I believe that these are enough to build your faith in God to start praying earnestly unto him. He is God and he do not change, his method is not constant but his love, character and power does not change (Isa 40:28; Mal 3:6)
Why should I pray?
We have seen that God does answers prayers, so why should i pray? You should pray:
- To build relationship with God- (eg Mat 14:23; Luke 9:18)
- For direction
- Before you make any important decision
- For deliverance (eg from sickness, demonic oppression/possession etc)
- For others (eg Eph 6:18; Col 1:3)
- For God to open doors (eg to go back to school etc) for you and others (eg Col 4:3)
- For personal wellbeing such as children, spouse, health,
- To bless others (eg 1 King 8:14)
- Prayers of dedication, that is, dedicating something or someone to God such as building, a child, family, home, etc- (eg
- For boldness and miracles- (eg Acts 4:24-31)
- For spiritual, mental and emotional strength- (eg 2 Cor. 12:7-10)
- For deliverance from those who want to cause you hurt- (eg Gen 32:24-30; 33:1-4; 2 Sam 15:31, 16:20-23; Acts 12:1-12
- For food and financial help- (eg Judge 15:18-20;
- Sometimes can only be done through prayer- (Mk 9:29)
- Basically for anything you want, that is according to His will- (John 15:16; 1 John 5:14-15)
Is there a special way of praying?
Many people and books have given many methods of praying so I will not seek to reinvent the wheel. There is no real special way of praying, what I am here to do is to tell you somethings that you could include in your prayer(s). Some of them are of necessity while some are not These are:
- We should pray with reference, sincerity and humility (eg Heb. 10:22, Mat 6:5-9)
- Pray the will, (purpose, desire etc) of God to be done- (eg Mat 6:10; 1 John 5:14)
- Pray with faith believing that what you ask for you shall receive- (Mt 21:22; Mk 9:23,1 John 5:14-15)
- Pray from the heart (1 Samuel 1:12-16) A prayer from your heart can turn situation around. Hannah prayed from her heart (soul) and the result impacted a whole nation. God is not interested in a formula for praying, but prayers that touch God is made from the heart, not from your mere lips. God looks on the heart (1 Sam 16:7)
- Pray without ceasing as those you keep asking receive (Mt 7:7-8; 1; Lk 18:1; 1 Th 5:17) Many times we don’t receive our request because we gave up too soon.
- Do not pray with the wrong purpose and evil, selfish motives- (James 4:3)
- Pray with praise and thanksgiving (Phil 4:6) You don’t have to wait until God answers to start giving him thanks and praising him knowing that his will for you will be done, even if its not what you asked for. When Paul and Silas prayed with praise & thanksgiving the prison door was open (Acts 16:22-29). When praise is used alongside prayer, powerful things can happen (Ps 149:6-9)
- Find others to agree with you in prayer- ”Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my of my father which is in heaven”- Matthew: 18:19. There is great power in agreement.
My friends, I want to encourage you to start building an intimate relationship with God through prayer, prayer does not change God but it changes you and also cause God to work on your behave. God will not act on earth unless the people on earth ask of him what they want him to do. Have you ever wondered why so much evil is being committed on earth and it seems God is not seeing? The people on earth must agree together in prayer as prayer moves ‘mountains’. Do not only pray when you need something, God will appreciate even two minutes out of your time.
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