Prayer: Why it’s Sometimes a Struggle
Are you ready for this? I’m not going to sugar coat it, or dress it up in pretty words that make you feel comfortable, here it comes… The reason why prayer can be so difficult and take such effort is because of the devil (Gasp! the “D’ word)!
We’re a Fallen People
I know it’s a forbidden word, but it’s not like “he who shall not be named”. Speaking of the devil doesn’t make him magically appear before you (although I also don’t recommend giving the enemy more attention than is deserved). See, when the enemy fooled Adam and Eve, sin entered and infected all of the earth, including it’s inhabitants. That’s me and you, friend. The fact of the matter is that through our fallen nature, there’s always a pull on us to lean heavy towards fleshly or selfish desires. This is why the sacrifice of our time and prayers to God is a struggle.
- Prayer is an act of defiance against the enemy, and so he uses our own fallen nature as a weapon against us to keep us from running to God for all things. But praise God, we still have free will!
- So, let’s just back up for a moment, please understand: We don’t get to blame everything on the devil as an excuse for why we don’t measure up, we are still responsible for the choices we make.
Due to our fallen nature, our flesh is at all times inclined to do whatever is pleasing to ourselves, to satisfy our own desires, even to destruction. We lean towards things that gratify us, and keep us satiated. In fact, so satiated that we don’t long for the things of God that truly satisfy.
“If you don’t feel strong desires for the manifestation of the glory of God, it is not because you have drunk deeply and are satisfied. It is because you have nibbled so long at the table of the world. Your soul is stuffed with small things, and there is no room for the great.”
The truth however, is the satisfactions we get from the world around us is fleeting. That’s why we’re constantly looking for the next thing to fulfill us, the next thrill. Momentary pleasure is constantly & readily available.
Our propensity to lean into our sin nature makes it difficult to sacrifice our time: that show on T.V., going our with friends, or simply quiet time after a long day of parenting… it all has a more immediate satisfaction rate than prayer, and therefore is much more preferred.
God has given us free will, the freedom to choose for ourselves. We’re encouraged everyday by influences all around us to indulge ourselves, “treat yo self“, “do you“, if you want it, you should have it. We’re not likely to choose self denial or self restriction if we can’t see how it would benefit us, it’s just not in our nature. To grow in our relationship with God we have to draw a line in the sand, we have to choose it of our own free will.
OK here comes the good news! Through the interceding of the Holy Spirit we are reminded of our need for God and dependence on a strong relationship with Him. It’s that pull we feel in our hearts when we know we’re missing Him (check out romans 8:26). However, the effort put forth/choice to do what’s right is always on our end, we have to continuously and intentionally choose it, and we must do it over and over again. It does get easier (never perfect), but first we must pull ourselves away from the grip that self indulgence has on us…that the enemy has on us.
“…the devil hates prayer. If prayer were powerless, it would be easy” -David Guzik
How much do we really want to grow, how close do we really want to be to God? Will we do what’s immediately pulling at us, or will we choose effort-will we choose time with God? It’s your call, it’s your free will, it’s your choice.
Much love, tons of giggles & continued grace,