Koinonia
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Koinonia

Truth About Prayer

A reflection on why it is hard to pray

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

When I say we should pray, you wouldn’t be surprised because, as a Christian, of course, we should pray.

The real and most honest question is, why aren’t we constantly and delightfully praying? To be constantly and delightfully praying, why aren’t we doing such a thing?

“Praying is not difficult to understand. It is difficult to do… Deep, prolonged intercession is painful. It involves staying before God when everyone else has gone away or sleeps.” (Experiencing God).

I think there are three main reasons why it’s hard to pray.

1. Tiring

Praying alone, speaking to the wall, and trying to stay focused is a rigorous obligation. Not to mention staying awake and sober during prayer time or prayer meetings.

It is burdensome for others, especially for those who want things done, or for people saying, “I have better things to do. I need to do something to change the world.”

The thought of praying daily is challenging. For some, it’s stressful because who would want to sit (stand or kneel) in front of nothingness, every single night, uttering words that you don’t even understand or feel?

2. Unanswered prayers

For a more serious reason, it is very hard to trust God. Praying means faithfulness. We pray because we want God to answer it with “Yes.”

But what happens when we receive a “No” from Him? First, you become frustrated because it seems unfair. Second, it creates a gap between you and God.

When you’ve prayed for a high score on a test, and still you failed. When you prayed for your parents to be promoted but still lost their job during the pandemic layoffs.

You’ve been praying for the salvation of your family, friends, classmates, and even on your campus, but it seems like nothing is happening. You prayed for a loved one to be healed, but still, they passed away.

And this leads us to the last reason.

1. Painful

Our generation today will do everything to avoid pain. Praying is painful. Why?

Because praying is facing a holy, righteous, just God. This exposes evilness in the world, including our evilness; it exposes our ungodliness, unworthiness, and inadequateness. It also exposes our faith, or how little our faith is to God.

Our sins hinder us from praying; the lie that most of us bought was, “I’ll pray to God only when I’m clean and worthy. I’ll work my way out of my sin first. Then I’ll go to God.”

When cultivated and planted deep in our hearts, this is a powerful lie, the birth of a tree of the false security of having the power to defeat sin on your own. Eventually, it will bear fruit: isolation, anxiety, false identity, and finally, spiritual death.

The Truth

1. God gives rest

The truth is, prayer, when done correctly and faithfully, gives rest and comfort, security, and grace.

A prayer of thanksgiving and outward prayer gives rest. Don’t allow shallow, self-centered prayer to rob you of the beauty of faithful prayer. Instead, rest in God’s presence, speak to Him, for He will surely listen.

2. God always listens

God’s “No” is also an answered prayer. Our disappointments to God are valid, but that doesn’t mean we should wander away from Him. All the more reason to cling to Him and start to listen.

Frustration is sometimes caused by expectations not meant, but it’s the lack of security. We should never put our security on things that aren’t stable and eternal. However, God is worthy of trust, and we can fully trust His wisdom. He knows what’s best, and He has greater plans for us.

3. God knew our pain

Prayer should and always will be as simple as talking and listening to God. No fancy formulas. Just pray.

Sometimes the most refreshing prayers are those without words. Just tears and a lot of sobbing.

“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.” (James 1:2–5, 12, ESV).

Let’s pray

Lord Jesus, it is true that oftentimes I don’t pray because I feel tired. Tired of the things I prioritize more than you. Tired of the things I thought would give me rest and peace. Of the thought that I will miss out on a lot of things when I pray. Sometimes or most of the time, I don’t think I’m worthy to even talk to you because of my sins and my lack of faith.

I feel condemned more than convicted. I feel the weight of sin dragging me to work my way out. I’m sorry, Jesus.

You said in your word, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”

You also said in your word, “we are more than conquerors through [You] who loved us.” that “neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us” from Your love in Christ Jesus our Lord. So I will forever give thanks and praise to you who deserve all that I am. For your love endures forever. In Jesus Name, Amen!

Koinonia Publication
Encouraging, empowering, and entertaining. In Christ.

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