Why I Don’t Pray

What? What did she say?

Okay, so now that I have your attention . . .

This is going to be one of those where-the-rubber-hits-the-road kind of posts.

Do I believe 1 Thessalonians 5:17 that instructs us to “pray without ceasing”? Yes, as a matter of fact, I do. But the point is, do I actually do this?

If praying means being aware of God’s presence and wanting to honour Him in all I say and do, I pray.

If, as I know to be true, it is that plus so much more, then I fall miserably short of the mark. And just why is that?

Here are a half dozen reasons off the top of my head:

1. I may be articulate by human standards, but what can I possibly say to the Creator of the universe? Well, for one, He isn’t interested in how articulate I am. He’d rather hear my heart, like any loving father, than a string of twenty-dollar words.

2. I don’t want my prayers to be the endless repetition of a memorized list. Of course, the same people and situations are going to be in my prayers time and time again, but those prayers can be so much more than just a rote exercise.

3. Truth be told, I’m easily distracted. That’s true, but if I pray aloud or write out my prayers, I find it easier to focus. It may not be for everyone, but it works for me.

4. I like tasks with clearly delineated borders. I love checking off items from my Action Plan (aka my To Do list). It brings a sense of “Hooray, one more task accomplished!” Prayer is ongoing and can happen anytime, anywhere. (Yes, many things will need to be done again, take dishes for instance. But at least when the day’s dishes are washed, dried, and put away, that is that.)

5. Just so you know . . . I am fully aware of how extra lame this next list of excuses is. Either the people closest to me don’t seem interested in praying, meet when I’m otherwise occupied, or seem to say prayers rather than actually pray. Lame. Lame! LAME! These are nothing more than hit myself on the head dumb things to think – never mind put out there for the world to read. But in the interest of full disclosure . . .

6. I believe in God’s sovereignty. I can rest and take comfort in that truth . . . or I can use it as an excuse for disobedience, thinking, “What difference do my prayers make anyway?” – not a good option. I know full well this line of thinking is based on a complete misunderstanding of the bearing that sovereignty has on us all.

So . . . I’ve used my 500th SNEI post to come clean. Plus, I want to use it as a recommitment to set time aside daily for prayer all the while sending those “popcorn prayers” heavenward throughout the day.

Praying Hands Pic

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4 thoughts on “Why I Don’t Pray

  1. It’s okay to fall short of the mark. God knows we’re going to be imperfect. The real challenge is to always try being better than you were yesterday. I always try to make it a conversation. Sometimes things are a bit rote, but I always try and focus on whether I really mean it. Am I grateful for what’s going on in my life? Sometimes I try and add a “because” to anything that might sound rote. All I know is God wants us talking to him (understandably, as any good father would). In fact, for me that helps sometimes, is to think of my own dad who is willing to listen to all the ‘blah’ in my life just because he’s my dad. So if God is the perfect father, then of course he would be interested in what I’d have to say, simply because it’s important to me. And often I think prayer is more for us getting things figured out than anything, and align our wills to his.

    Thanks for your post. Good food for thought. 😀

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