Prayer, why is it so difficult?

I don’t know about the rest of you out there but praying to me is equivalent to when my mom used to tell me, “Go clean your room!”. It simply does not come naturally to me. I completely understand the importance of prayer in all its many splendid forms but that does not make it any easier.

I pray when things are good and when things are bad. It is funny how we have “Catch 22” sayings regarding these two situations in life for prayer.  I hear preachers say, “Anyone can pray when things are going well.”  Then they also say, “We all want the Lord to intervene when things are going badly.”  Well why shouldn’t you pray during either situation?  That is not their point.  Their point is that some people don’t pray until one situation or the other.  So I no longer take it to heart when I hear them throw the catch 22 out there.  As with most things in life, if the comment doesn’t apply to me then I try to not take it personally.

Now for me the problem is complicated and yet simple.  I have been taught how to pray out loud in a group, out loud by myself, quietly to myself in a group or by myself (one of the most difficult), how to pray out loud while others are praying, how to use scripture while praying to guide my prayers, how to order my prayers (praise, confession, petition, intercession, meditation: mainly based on The Lord’s Prayer model), how to pray with whatever is on my mind or heart, how to pray quickly when your car is about to run into something that it shouldn’t, how to pray at sporting events, and the list goes on.

So I should be able to pray at any random moment, right?

Well why can’t I pray first thing in the morning or even in the middle of the day when I allot the time to pray?  I can pray small prayers throughout the day but when it comes to devotion type of prayers where I actually give God the time to speak to me and search my heart then I cannot do it.  My attention span is nil.  What am I doing wrong?  How do you get the motivation to pray?  If anyone has the answer(s) then please chime in.  Is it my lack of faith?  Is it that God wants me to be doing something else besides praying?  Is it my brain thinking  that I am crazy for even believing in God and wondering why I should want to talk to thin air?  I need you guys to help me work through this.

Thanks,

Keith

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7 thoughts on “Prayer, why is it so difficult?

  1. Granny says:

    Hi, Grandson, I know all struggle with praying at times. I think the evil one will do anything to avert out closeness to our Lord, especially during times of focusing totally on Him. I believe the Lord wants us to speak to Him as we would converse with each other, except to be reverant, and remember He knows what we need without saying it, so be strong in talking to Him. I love the times I unload my inward praise and concerns. He knows our hearts and wants us to tell Him when it’s hard for us to talk with Him. Love and prayers, Granny

    • daddymoose says:

      My problem is mainly in trying to develop a consistent time of prayer. I want to pray in the mornings but it is hard enough to wake up and get to work. I am not a morning person unless I have about three hours to take things slowly. I had a great time of prayer while weeding out the garden today and later on I was able to pray for an indigenous mission team that I have never met as well as the guy who introduced me to that ministry (he and his wife are celebrating 35 years of marriage today!). So I can pray throughout the day, just not during those set times when I want to only devote myself to prayer. Is there a trick to developing this type of focus?

  2. PapaD says:

    Yo Yo daddymoose.

    I wish I had a prayer to answer your question. I think we all struggle with that issue. As a husband and father I think we get so caught up with the day to day stuff that it just takes it’s toll on prayer life. Had a lousy day at work, the car needs fixing, the grass needs mowing, the bills need paying, you get the point. There is nothing left. I know that seems like a lame excuse but it is real. Prayer is just one more thing to an already busy day. It is also easy to brush it aside and I will do it later which rarely happens. For me I get frustrated with prayer. I know it’s selfish but I need a high return on my prayer investment or I get frustrated and decide what’s the purpose. I want things in my time and not in God’s. A work in progress. So to give you advice on how to improve in your prayer life……once you find a good and consistent solution please put it on your blog….. Later.

  3. Mama Diggs says:

    Hi Keith,

    Bro. Lynn told me once to try and pray, just once, thanking God for all the gifts He has given you that day or week. Do not ask for anything, just thank him. It actually worked for me. I started thanking Him and it went on and on. In the process, I came to realize what a great God we have and how much he does for me. The problem with prayer that sometimes, or most of the time, the answer is not what we are looking for. I really wanted to win the alderman election and lost by 5 votes. I chose not to lament on the small loss and wonder why. I decided that night to move on with life. Obviously, God has another direction for me and being alderman was not it. So, I actually thanked Him for being there for me and prayed for guidance. Or perhaps I prayed for me acceptance of His guidance….hope this helps a little….

    Love you and yours,
    Mama Diggs

    • daddymoose says:

      Hey Mama Diggs,

      That sounds awesome. I might use it to help me out when I get down at times. Sorry to hear that the election was a bust for you. Pappy lost too. I don’t know if he is taking it hard or not. I might pass on your words of wisdom to Granny for him to consider.

      On another note, a pastor out in Fort Hood, Texas once told me to pray for other people whenever I find myself feeling down. He said it is hard to stay depressed when you start realizing how many other people are dealing with things worse than your situation. I rarely remember to do that but sometimes I remember his words and follow through.

      It is early and I am sleepy still. Thanks for posting.

      Keith

  4. Ma K says:

    Hey Keith,

    I think we all go through times when prayer is easier than other times, and times when it is an effort to do. It helps me to remember something Pastor Dutch Sheets says in his “Interecessory Prayer” dvd. He says that he is determined to enjoy his prayer life. That it isn’t something we have to do in a certain way or even like anyone else. Whatever we enjoy doing, we can enjoy doing with God. If we like to drink coffee, then drink coffee with God. If we like to go for walks in the country or in the woods or just down our street, then go for a walk (or jog, or bike ride, or whatever) with God. The key is having an ongoing relationship with God all the time.

    Somehow I think the church has tried to give us a mindset that we must have a reverent, quiet time with God. Some churches even say you have to pray on your knees (I am not opposed to praying on my knees, but if I pray for a long time, that gets very uncomfortable). I do have reverent, quiet times with God. But I can’t do that every day. I get bored easily. So somedays I sit and worship and pray. Sometimes I take a stroll and worship and pray (the cows look at me strange when I sing). Sometimes I pace back and forth and pray. Sometimes I just put on a worship cd and spend time dancing before Him (when no one else can see!). Sometimes I shout and cry and laugh, depending on what I am praying for or interceding about. I just don’t think the method matters as much as the time we spend with God.

    And I definitely agree with Mama Diggs about the importance of being thankful. There is so much to be thankful for, including the every day miracles He allows us to see in sunrises and sunsets and babies smiles. I’ve asked God to give me a thankful heart, and He is doing that work in me. He is everywhere all the time, and when we see Him in the everyday things and thank Him, we draw close to Him–and Him to us!

    Oh! One more thing. I don’t know about anyone else, but often when I pray and even when I wait for Him to speak to me, I don’t get the answers I seek right away. But God is faithful to answer me later on if I have taken time to honor Him and seek Him with my time. The Bible says we will reap what we sow. If we sow time with God, even if it doesn’t seem there is an immediate result, we will reap a reward from Him in a deeper relationship, and a keener sense of hearing His voice, and YES! in answers to our prayers.

    Keep seeking God with all your heart and soul (Deut. 30:6). He loves you passionately!

    Love and Hugs,
    Ma K

  5. Sissy says:

    I am not one to say I have any answers on this subject, but I can tell you this. I talk to God all day. I don’t think He cares when you talk (a specific set aside time) as long as you do it. My prayers are more like conversation. I tell him my thoughts because I’ve come to think of him as my best friend (aside from my hubbie). He knows me better than anyone and I can’t hide a thing, even if I tried. I also pray with Elijah at bedtime and at church and then sometimes I get really quiet and just try to listen. But most of the time I send messages to Him and know He hears me cause I feel it. I feel his answers through my laughter at things or my remorse or whatever. Point is, why do you have to have a specific time to pray? Just pray. It doesn’t matter when you do it. He’s always listening.

    I love you Lil Bro,
    Sissy

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