Two Reasons Not to Pray

Recently, I heard something from a seasoned Christian that surprised me, yet made total sense.

He said that, of all his years as a Christian, the one area of his walk with God that has consistently been the greatest struggle is prayer.

It made sense to me because prayer is an area that I struggle with. It made sense because prayer is the most faith-filled act we perform as Christians. Prayer, in many ways, is our walk with God, our communion with Him; so it is the fight of faith in many ways.

Why is this fight so hard for Christians? After all, we’re supposed to be people of faith, right? I can think of a lot of reasons, but here are two big ones:

A Heart of Pride

When I realize that I’ve gone a long time without praying, it’s a red flashing light that alerts me to the fact that I’ve been acting proudly and independently of God.

Lack of prayer is a sign that I’m buying into the lie that Eve first bought into in Genesis 3:5—“you will be like God.” When I don’t pray, I’m saying that I think I can do it without God.

A Heart of Despair

This is actually another form of pride, but we don’t always see it.  

The proud Christian doesn’t pray because they forget how much they need God. The despairing Christian doesn’t pray because he or she feels that they’re not worthy of God, or God isn’t helping them enough in the ways they need.

There’s a kind of prideful self-dependence that says, “I’m not good enough to come before God today, because of….”

God says to that kind of thinking, “Did you think there was ever a time you could come before me on your own merit? [There’s the pride—ouch!] That’s why you need to come through my Son, your great High Priest. So come boldly before me” (see Hebrews 4:16).

The other form that prayer-less despair takes is a heart that says, “God won’t or can’t answer. God doesn’t care. He doesn’t really love me.” It’s a heart that says, “God, you’re not enough for me!”

To this, God says, “‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’ So we can confidently say, ‘The Lord is my helper. I will not fear.’” (Hebrews 13:5, 6).


Do you have ideas of things that have helped to keep you humble and in a spirit of prayer, that you would be willing to share? Join in the conversation below!

Scott Allison
Scott is a pastoral intern at Faith Church. He and his wife Courtney work in Children's Ministries at the church.