One of the major issues that plagues the believer is weakness in the place of prayer. The question of how to overcome prayerlessness is always in the heart of every true and committed believer.
How can we overcome prayerlessness? How can we go past our weaknesses in prayer and become more prayerful?The answers will be revealed in this article.
Prayer has been emphasized over and over again as an integral part of the believer's life and walk with God. For a believer to come to the place of intimacy with God, trap spiritual realities, exercise Dominion over the earth, usurp the advance of darkness and attain his maximum potential in Christ, prayer must be absolute.
But with the intense emphasis on prayer and the widespread teachings and preachings on prayer, many default in carrying out the enterprise of prayer. Excuses pertinent to busy schedules, weakness in prayer and a number of other are brought up by believers as to why they don't pray.
There are so many peculiar reasons as to why believers fail to pray. For some they have got other options seemingly better than prayer. Others are depraved of the need for prayers. Others have their faith weakened due to a long list of unanswered prayers. While for many, prayers don't just make it to the priority list.
The truth is no excuse is good enough to sideline and relegate prayers. Any sign of prayerlessness and weakness must be dealt with at all cost. It is interest you to note that prayerlessness is a sin.
Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you: but I will teach you the good and the right way: – 1 Samuel 12:23
In the scripture above, we see Samuel revealing that if he fails to pray for Israel it is equivalent to sinning against God. There is no excuse that can validate your negligence to prayers.
Another critical point to bear is that prayerlessness produces a gullible, weak and feeble spiritual life. Our life is more spiritual than it is physical and it is worthy of note that we interact with Spirit entities every now and then. Apostle Paul said;
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
This powers and principalities that we wrestle against will overpower, conquer and subdue us except we turn our faces to God and engage the protocol of prayers. A prayerless Christian can not have power over devils and principalities.
God's commission to mankind of dominion and subduing the earth will never be articulated and expressed by a believer who does not pray. It is by prayer that we attract the requisite power needed for dominion over the earth.
If we will have dominion – trampling the devil and the earth underfoot – we must retract back to the place of prayer and begin to deal diligently in prayers to God.
For some believers, their immediate needs have been taken care of and because of that they do not see the need to pray. This is gross pride.
It is the view that prayers is solely meant for petitioning – asking for needs – that gives rise to this form of negligence to prayer. If prayer is about asking God for needs, when the needs are met why pray?
The inability to pray for long hours of time, for others, is the reason why they do not pray. Many want to be reckoned to be prayerful and they opt to pray for long hours of time hoping to get approvals and appraisals.
Due to the frailty of our humanity, they may be unable to reach their quota and being discouraged overtime they may lose interest in prayers unknowingly.
Busy schedules, academics, career, work, family upkeep and other activities are the reasons why some Christians don't pray. These set of Christians live extremely busy schedules and they have no time to engage prayers.
Excuse or no excuse, prayer is our lifestyle as believers and we all must be yielded to prayers. As oxygen is needed for the survival of humans, prayer is needed for our survival as spiritual beings.
Prayer is not meant to gratify your desires alone. The orientation that praying is all about asking God for your needs is wrong. The same way you have needs is the same way God has needs and He designed prayer as the medium for fulfilling those needs.
One of God's need is intimacy with us. God desires to be intimate with Him – To have us know Him more. Prayer is the channel with which God can achieve intimacy with us.
Prayer in the words of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi is the key of the morning and the bolt of the evening. In other words, it should be what we begin our day with and how we end our day.
You can suspend every other thing in your life but not prayer. When prayer stops, everything in your life is bound to stop working. You must not allow any excuse swing you into weakness in prayer.
The writer of Hebrews advised in Hebrews 12:12 "Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees". It was actually a call to prayers.
How can a believer overcome weakness in prayer and become more prayerful. Here are some of the steps I recommend to assist every believer
1. Pray More To Overcome Weakness in Prayer
This sounds weird but it is the first step on how to overcome weakness in prayer. To become prayerful is to pray more. Nobody starts out praying as an expert. Everyone was a beginner at praying but overtime due to practice and yieldedness, mastery was achieved.
Like every known art, Prayer must be learnt and mastery only comes by constant practice. To become good at soccer or at playing the keyboard, you must give yourself to football trainings and keyboard practice. It is no different with prayer.
Personally, there was a point in my life when I could not pray in tongues for 15 minutes straight but as I continued in prayer I began to master the art and today by His grace I can pray for hours in tongues.
It is not a sin to be unable to pray for hours. Do not let any one deceive you or demean you on such grounds. First of all, prayer is not time-based but Spirit-based that is you do not pray into time, you pray into the Spirit.
Although, praying for long hours is good because it exercises your Spirit, do no be dismayed when you are unable to. Prayer is not for proving points but for touching God.
Note that, a baby does not learn how to walk and talk in a day. Growth is by all standards a process. You must keep engaging in prayers until you gained mastery.
Praying without ceasing, continually and consistently will help you gain mastery of the art of prayer and before you know it you would have metamorphosed into a praying machine.
2. Be Deliberate About Prayer To Overcome Weakness in Prayer
The second point on how to overcome weakness in prayer is to be deliberate about prayer. Prayer is a spiritual activity which must be engineered by the Spirit but you must not always wait to be pushed to pay before you pray.
You would need to take conscious, deliberate decisions to pray whether in your convenience or not. Apostle Paul said "..I will pray.." (1 Corinthians 14:15). This means he (Paul) will take the conscious decision to pray.
One point that is worthy of note is this: your flesh will never want prayer. When it is prayer time, your flesh will bring up other options to take. This is why you need to put your will to work and choose to pray. Prayer is not always palatable for the flesh hence you must force it to pray.
The flesh will always rebel as Paul tells us in Galatians 5:17. It is your duty to force it to submit. If as you pray, you sleep off, wake up and continue praying. Do not be deterred by the frailty of your humanity. Never go easy on the flesh, train it to always choose prayer.
3. Partner With The Holy Spirit
To overcome weakness in prayer, you must partner with God's spirit. Jon Bloom of desiringGod said Prayer is not fundamentally a discipline thing. And that is very much true. Prayer is a spiritual function so if you must pray you must pray in partnership with the Holy Spirit.
Disciplining yourself is very important but prayer can only be performed accurately and according to God's standards when we pray by the quickening of His Spirit.
It is vain to try and pray without the person of the Holy Spirit believing in your energy and strength. David understood how the important role of the Spirit of God in prayer that is why he prayed in Psalms 80:18 thus
So will not we depart from thee: quicken us, and we will call upon your name
It is unnatural to want to stay in the place of prayer but when we are quickened we will want to continue to prayer. To overcome prayerlessness and become more prayerful, we must partner with God's Spirit to help us pray.
- He will quicken us to pray
- We can pray in accordance to God's will
- He can help us to pray
It is the Spirit of God that quickens and helps us to pray as prayer is communication with God who is a Spirit and no flesh can interact with God except by the Spirit.
But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you - Romans 8:11
When our humanity seems to overpower us, we must trust God's Spirit to supply strength to help us pray. The Holy Spirit has a support facility providing strength to the believer when needed.
Also, in Romans 8:26, Apostle Paul points out the reason why no matter how much we think we can pray, we still need to depend on the Spirit of God.
Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
You see that the Spirit helps in our weaknesses because we do not know what we should pray for and how we ought to pray. The Spirit of God helps us overcome theses weaknesses by making intercessions on our behalf. He does not only quicken us to pray, He teaches us how to pray and what to pray for.
I believe one of the reasons for prayerlessness is the lack of the Spirit of God. We have tried to pray on our own by ourselves and it has proven to be a venture in futility. Why not partner with God's Spirit to help you pray?
Say; "Spirit of God, come help me pray, come pray with me, come quicken me to call on the name of the Lord". I trust God's Spirit to help you conquer prayerlessness and become prayerful.
4. Living a Holy Life
Another point on how to overcome weakness in prayer is by living a holy life.
Sin is a major hindrance to prayers and praying. It prevents you from praying and equally stops God from answering your prayers. God's servant, Dr Paul Enenche said "Sin keeps you from praying as much as prayer keeps you from sin".
A sinner will always find prayer burdensome and a total waste of time. The nature of sin is one that prevents the sinner from any inclination to prayer. To overcome prayerlessness, the believer has got to live a holy life.
Holiness is not just a criterion for making heaven, it is an important requirement for praying effectively. It gives us both the boldness to come into His presence and the assurance of answered prayers.
This is what Apostle Peter explained in 1 Peter 3: 12
For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.
To overcome weakness in prayer and become more prayerful, the believer must deal with secret sin. Those weights that easily beset us, hidden faults and little foxes. Holiness must be your watchword if you will ever master the art of prayer.
We grow into being prayerful. You can not master a skill in one day. Prayer is not rocket science but a process -- it takes times. So do not be discouraged if you are unable to pray as you want.
Remember that, it is by consistent and continual practice we gain mastery of prayers. Before you know it, you would be surprised how much you have grown.
Most Importantly, prayer is communing with God and not trying to prove a point by praying long hours of time. No one should make you feel less of a Christian over the issue of praying long hours. There is need to pray for long hours but the primary focus is to commune with God.
Jesus told a parable with this emphasis "Men ought always to pray and not to faint". He was given us insight into the unrivaled position prayer should occupy in our lives. Prayer is mandatory and not optional for everyone.
Prayer must be your top most priority first before your job, career, academics and any other activity you engage in. You must create time no matter how busy you are to commune with your Father else you would become a prey in the devil's hands.
Finally, prayer is not theoretical but practical. It is an organic reality. After reading this article, PRAY. Do not wait for later, PRAY NOW.
I trust that with these steps on how to overcome weakness in prayer, your prayer life will see a massive turnaround. PRAY NOW.