Why Do We Neglect Prayer?

“Hear my prayer, O Lord! Listen to my cries for help! Don’t ignore my tears.” (Psalm 39:12a NLT)

Sometimes we get so busy with the work of the Lord, we forget the Lord of the work, until there’s a crisis! Then He’s all we can think about. Why is it prayer is often our last resort when it should be our natural first line of defense against the attacks of the enemy?

Could it be we’re viewing prayer in the wrong way? How do you perceive prayer? Does it come easy, or is it hard for you? Why do you think that is?

There are people I love with whom it’s very hard for me to carry on a conversation, not because we don’t love one another, but largely because we have very little in common. Could that be an issue when it comes to prayer? Could it be it seems that you and God don’t have much in common? My guess is, you have a lot more in common than you realize.

Do you work? God cares about how you earn a living, after all, He provided the opportunity for you. Do you have a family? God cares greatly about your family, after all, He gave them to you. What about hobbies? Do you volunteer? However you spend your time, unless it’s doing something that’s clearly out of the perimeters of God’s will, the desire you have to pursue it very likely comes from God.

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We tend to think things that aren’t related to our “spiritual life” don’t need prayer, but the reality is, there’s nothing in our lives that escapes God’s notice or desire to partner with us in bringing it under the canopy of His concern. The fact is, it’s not what we do that determines if something is secular or sacred. It’s why we do it. 

It’s certainly not wrong to work or participate in many other activities, but we need to see them as a sacred trust. View them as gifts from God, not drawing you away from the Lord, but motivating you to seek His guidance and blessing, even while doing them.

We don’t neglect prayer because we don’t have time. We neglect prayer because it’s not a priority in our heart and mind. I’m praying even as I type these words. I pray when I walk the dogs, work around the house, clean the car or volunteer at church. Whatever occupies my time gives rise to an opportunity to speak with my Savior. Why? Because He is always with me and for me.

What’s the point? Whatever you do, however you use your time, God can be at the heart of it, if you want Him to be. Not enough time is never a valid excuse for neglecting prayer. Regardless of how you use your time, there is still ALWAYS time to pray, if that’s your heart’s desire. How do I know that?

Perhaps you’ve noticed the many opportunities the Lord had to perform miracles and accomplish significant Kingdom work while He was just “passing by” or “on His way to a certain city.” Some of the best opportunities the Lord gives me to bless someone is when I’m on my way to do something else. Why is that? Because that’s what we talk about in the morning while I’m on my walk. “Lord, by Your grace and by the guidance of Your Spirit, enable me to be alert to the person who needs a kind word or who needs to be lifted to you in prayer.”

It might be in the grocery store, at work, getting a haircut, in the doctor’s office, in a conversation with a telemarketer, anytime the Lord puts you in contact with another human being, He’s setting the stage for a divine appointment where He can be honored, and you can be a blessing. Prayer prepares us for those appointments.

We’ll pick this up tomorrow.

Blessings, Ed 😊

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