For the next several weeks I would like to write about reasons why we do not pray like we should. My hope is not to induce guilt. We all know we do not pray as much or as well as we should. Rather, I hope to bring revelation to the deeper realities of why we do not pray like we wish.
By revealing the deeper reasons behind our prayerlessness, I hope to we can better address the root of the problem so that our prayer lives can flourish.
We Feel Guilty
One of the biggest reasons we do not pray is because we have sin in our lives. This sin causes us to believe we are not able to approach God. There is one huge problem with this thinking: Confession is part of prayer. Jesus taught us to pray, “Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who have sinned against us, and lead us not into temptation.” He knew that we were going to have sin in our lives. Confession is just part of prayer.
Jesus has already covered our sin. He is our peace, allowing us to come before a holy God to confess our sins and pray. Hebrews 4:14 -16 states it this way: “Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are — yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”
Jesus understands our weakness, and He has already made a way for us to approach God. It is a “throne of grace” where we go to “receive mercy and find grace.” The irony is that by not praying, we actually hinder our ability to move beyond our sin.
Prayer is not only the place where we can confess our sin, it is also the place where God transforms our hearts. The dark places in our hearts that keep us from coming to God in the first place are most transformed when we do come to God in prayer. So coming to God in confession in prayer is exactly what we need, and God clearly invites us to do so.