What Keeps You from Praying?

“Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.”

Romans 8:26

Ponder This

Did you know it takes energy to pray? I’d rather preach for an hour than pray for half an hour, so far as energy is concerned. It takes great strength to pray. The reason many of us don’t pray is, very frankly, we’re lazy, and when we go to pray our energy drains out of us. Do you ever feel that? You get tired, you get sleepy, and your head gets full of cobwebs. Part of this may be the conditions in which we seek to pray. Are you setting yourself up for success by practicing prayer in a proper environment? Seek out somewhere that will help you stay alert and without distraction. But there’s more than just our environment. Part of our old nature is we simply don’t have the strength to pray.

Jesus was in the garden of Gethsemane praying, and He wanted His disciples to pray. He said, “Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation” (Matthew 26:41). And He came back and what were they doing? They were sleeping. And what did Jesus say? He said, “The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Had they been filled with the Spirit, they would’ve been praying. Many times, we’re sleeping when we ought to be praying, and the reason we’re sleeping when we ought to be praying is we’re not praying in the Spirit.

  • What are the most common obstacles you face in prayer?
  • How might you seek the Holy Spirit to help you overcome those obstacles so that you might focus on prayer?

Practice This

Take time today to pick a time and a place where you will cultivate a habit of prayer each day. Select a time and place that is free from distraction and will help you stay attentive and alert as you seek to pray.