For most believers, difficulty praying is not due to ignorance. We know prayer is important and that it should be a priority. Verses like the following are written as commands, not suggestions:
Devote yourselves to prayer. (Col. 4:2)
Pray continually. (1 Thess. 5:17)
Always keep on praying for all the saints. (Eph. 6:18)
For most believers, difficulty praying is not due to lack of benefits. Listen to the testimonies of those who have fervently prayed and you will know its value. Prayer is powerful:
The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. (James 5:16-18)
So, why do we find difficulty in praying?
We underestimate the work involved in praying.(Eph. 6:18; Col. 4:2; 1 Pet. 4:7; Lk. 11:1-8)
- We need to be active — alert, clear-minded, self-controlled, persevering.
- We can’t be passive or lazy about praying. It’s too easy to lose focus or even fall asleep.
We underestimate the role of the Spirit in helping us pray. (Rom. 8:26; Eph. 6:18)
- We need to be consistently walking in the Spirit — dependent and yielding.
- We can’t be making excuses that we don’t know what or how to pray. We have a Helper.
We underestimate the enemy and consequently don’t pull on God’s mighty power as needed. (Eph. 6:10-18; 1 Pet. 5:8-9)
- We need to be proactive — “put on” the armor.
- We can’t be unaware of the devil’s schemes, letting ourselves believe his lies about being too busy to pray, that it doesn’t really matter, etc.
We overestimate our own ability to deal with life. (Prov. 3:5-6; Jn. 15:5)
- We need to be abiding in Him, letting Him have control — humble and trusting.
- We can’t be serving two masters without neglecting one over the other.