By Reverend Rick Roberts
- I don’t have time.
Sure you have time. Everybody has time. If you are alive, you have time. Time is what makes up the moments of your day and the days of your life. You do have time. What you don’t have is priorities. You determine what you do with your time.
Ephesians 5:16 “making the most of your time, because the days are evil.”
- I’m too busy.
Again, it’s a matter of priorities. If you are too busy to pray, then you are too busy. The fact is, without prayer, our work is futile. Nothing of heavenly value will be accomplished without prayer. It’s just “dead works.” Prayer is the principle thing! Prayer is the only thing that will move heaven. Prayer gets the attention of God. Prayer is the main thing that God wants from us. God doesn’t need our intelligence, our talent, or our ability. What He wants from us is time spent in prayer.
- I don’t know what to say.
That’s no excuse. God sent us the Holy Spirit. He prays for us and through us, “with groanings too deep for words.” (Romans 8:26) That means two things. The Holy Spirit gives us a prayer language, praying in tongues. Now many people don’t pray in tongues and don’t believe in praying in tongues. Okay. God can read your heart. Prayer is not just words; it’s heart. Prayer is expressing your heart before God. If you can talk you can pray. Prayer is not using King James English. Prayer is just talking with God, and listening to God.
- I don’t often get answers to my prayers. It’s frustrating.
Sure you get answers!
(A) You may not be paying attention to the answers you are getting.
(B) You may not be making note of the answers, or fully appreciating that you’re getting them. (C) Sometimes, of course, the answer is no, or it may just not be what you were expecting.
(D) You may be praying for the wrong things. 1 John 5:14-15 “This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him.”
(E) You may be praying selfish prayers. James 4:3 “You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures.”
(F) You may be too impatient. Some prayers take time to be answered. Don’t be discouraged. You may give up right before a breakthrough. God has His own timing.
- I fall asleep.
Try walking and praying. Or write, or type your prayers. Make it a journaling practice.
- I can’t stay focused.
Try making a list. Get alone. Block out a consistent time for daily prayer. Make an appointment with God. If your mind keeps wandering, pray about what your mind goes to. Or maybe, keep a note pad handy and make a note to come back to that thought. Then get on with your prayer.
- I can’t wait for the answers.
Whoa! God will do things in His own time…and at the right time. Galatians 4:4 “But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son…” Exodus 14:13 “Do not fear! Stand by and see the salvation of the LORD which He will accomplish for you today…” Psalms 46:10 “Be still, and know that I am God.” Isaiah 40:31 “Yet those who wait for the LORD Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.” This is critical! Wait!
- I’m afraid I won’t like the answer.
Sure, sometimes you won’t like the answer. But, are you smarter than God? Do you trust God? Proverbs 3:5 “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.” Isaiah 55:9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.”
Are you a Worrier or Warrior?
Philippians 4:6 “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” 1 Peter 5:7 “Casting all your care on him; for he cares for you.”
Are you Organizing or Agonizing?
Too often we depend on worldly patterns and principles rather than agonizing in prayer.
2 Corinthians 10:4 “for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses.”
Do you say prayers, or do you pray?
Rick Roberts is a missionary with the Assemblies of God, Intercultural Ministries. He and his wife of 43 years, Patti, live in Carencro.