We’re living on the verge of eternity. We see signs being fulfilled all over the world and it reminds God’s people that eternity’s clock is ticking (Matthew 24). As we see signs being fulfilled, we Christians should “look up” (Luke 21:28) but sadly, many don’t. We’re looking back at a wrong time.
I believe one of the contributing factors is prayerlessness. I’m noticing as a church pastor that in myself and among the congregation I’m serving, prayerlessness is common.
Why don’t they pray? I don’t know and why I don’t pray, no-one knows either. When I ask why Christians don’t pray I’m including pastors and ministers and everyone who is waiting for Jesus’ soon coming.
Many Christians don’t pray because they’re absorbed in busyness while many ministers are too busy with ministry. Busyness in the 21st century is a cancer that eats away and robs both ministers and Christians from staying connected with Jesus. Many Christians know they need to pray but they just don’t know how. The problem is not what to pray but how they can carve out time in their lives to pray. In this short article, I want to share some brief principles we can follow to boost our prayer life.
1. Feel the need to pray.
In my ministry, I’ve discovered that countless Christians don’t pray simply because they don’t feel the need to pray. Hunger compels us to look for food to eat. Thirst compels us to look for water to drink. For Christians to pray, first they need to feel the need to pray because feeling our own helplessness and need will help us to get down on our knees and seek the Lord.
2. Pray for the Holy Spirit to help us to pray more.
We must plead for the Holy Spirit to help and to teach us to pray because none of us know naturally how to pray. Even the disciples asked Jesus to teach them how to pray (Luke 11:1). The disciples noticed a difference in Jesus’ prayer life. Christ’s personal consistent prayer life exposed the prayerlessness of the disciples and as a result, they asked Jesus to give them an inside lecture on how to pray. No person can live a consistent prayer life in isolation because prayer deals with one’s walk with God and that walk with God is always evident when Christians become men and women of prayer. That’s why the Bible admonishes us to pray (1 Thessalonians 5:17).
3. Take time to pray.
Many Christians don’t find the time to pray. Christ made time to pray despite His busyness in ministry (Mark 1:35; Luke 11:1). Christians have time for gardening, to go to shopping malls, to visit and tell stories, but not for prayer. The truth is: God sees our desperate need of prayer but He will not commission an angel to come to us to carve out time for us to pray because God has blessed all of His children with the privilege of prayer and as Christians, we need to find time and pray. God gives 24 hours equally to all and we ought to become better stewards to carve out time to seek God through prayer. We must always pray (Colossians 4:2) both in times of adversity and prosperity.
4. Have a consistent devotional life.
And finally, Christians can become lax in their devotional life—collectively as individuals and corporately as a church. If Christians were asked every Sabbath before starting the church service about how many new Bible texts they’ve memorised and studied during the week, I don’t think many hands would go up. Today, many of us are too busy to spend time in the Word and with the Word. Reluctance to pray and study the Bible has resulted in backsliding in the church and weak Christians who are weak in witnessing.
I believe the principles in this article can help us pray as we follow them. God wills that His children pray more but sadly, we don’t pray.
Justin Kundalin pastors the Warakamb Seventh-day Adventist Church in the Western Highlands Mission, PNG.