“You ever have times when you didn’t or don’t feel like praying?” I asked Stan one morning.
“I can’t tell you how many times that’s been the case,” he replied, “but the answer is clearly ‘Yes.’ There have been many times when I just didn’t or I don’t feel like praying.”
“What do you do about that?” I asked.
“Pray,” he said.
“Pray?” I replied. “You pray when you don’t feel like praying? How does that make any sense?”
“It has to do with what I see to be the purpose of praying,” Stan responded. “To me, the purpose of prayer is to know what’s on God’s heart and mind so that the same things will be on and in my mind and heart. I see prayer as a continuation of the process of pursuing the eternal life of knowing God the Father and Jesus the Son.”
“As Jesus laid out in John 17:3?” I asked.
“Exactly,” Stan replied. “And,” he continued, “when I view praying in this light, and when I look to see who doesn’t want me to know God more deeply, it’s a pretty easy step to frankly admit to God that I’m having a hard time praying right now. I ask Him to draw me close and open me to see all He has for me to see about Him. I ask Him to help me in resisting the one who is trying to tempt me to keep from praying.”
“You think Satan tempts people to not pray?”
“Without a doubt,” Stan replied. “Satan is in the business of trying to keep me from God and God’s will for every aspect of my life. He lost the battle for my soul when by faith I accepted God’s free and gracious gift of life eternally with Him when it’s time, but Satan doesn’t give up on trying to impact my relationship with God before then.”
“Just as with every other of Satan’s temptations,” Stan added, “I am to resist his temptation to not pray by praying. When I do that, Satan flees and God has a clear shot at placing on my mind and in my heart what He wants.”
“So, my friend,” he concluded, “when you don’t feel like praying, that’s the time above all times when I think you should pray!”
Bible verses to consider:
Pray without ceasing. 1 Thessalonians 5:17.
Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. James 4:7-8.
In addition to all, (take) up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all of the flaming missiles of the evil one. Ephesians 6:16.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, that you allow me to come before you in prayer to find out what is on your mind and heart so that those same things will be placed in me. I confess that too often I do not come to you in prayer because I allow Satan to keep me from wanting to pray. Please help me to come before you in prayer at all times, but especially when I am being tempted to not pray. That is the exact time I need to come before you in prayer more than ever, and I ask for you help in wanting to draw closer to you in all things, but especially in prayer. Thank you I can and do bring these and all prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: What do you do when you don’t feel like praying? Do you agree that when you don’t feel like praying, that is when prayer is needed the most? Why or why not? Who does not want you to pray? What do you see as the reason to come before God in prayer? Is prayer an important part of your life as a Christian? Why or why not? If you sense the need for a deeper relationship with God through prayer, how is that going to happen?