Prayer is one of the most important disciplines in the Christian faith. It is our connection to the Creator of this world and the Savior of our souls. When a Christian makes it a habit to pray every day, he or she experiences the benefits of communing with God on such an intimate level. There are times however, that no matter how faithful you are to God and how strong your walk with the Lord is, prayer is simply difficult. So difficult in fact, you may want to just stop praying all together.
Maybe you’ve been praying for the same thing for years and you’ve grown tired, weary, and wonder if God even hears you anymore. Or cares.
Maybe you don’t want to get your hopes up by praying about a particular situation because you doubt it will really turn out as you desire.
Maybe you’re scared to pray because you fear God’s answer may not be what you are hoping for.
Maybe your prayer life has become monotonous and feels more like a chore than a blessing.
Despite its many benefits, prayer is a spiritual discipline that we sometimes just want to quit doing. If you’ve found yourself feeling this way I want to encourage you with 8 reasons why you should keep praying even when you want to quit.
1) Our Feelings Don’t Reflect God’s Truth
If you want to quit praying because you’ve given up hope that God will answer your prayers, I want you to think on this truth:
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” – Romans 8:28 NIV
We can trust God is working on our behalf for our good even if it doesn’t feel like it. The truth is if it’s not good, then God’s not done. And if God’s not done then neither are we. So let’s hold on to God’s truth over our feelings and wait patiently on Him.
2) God’s Silence Does Not Mean His Absence
We can wait patiently on God to answer our prayers when we understand God heard us the first time we prayed. Think of Daniel from the Bible. For three weeks Daniel prayed and fasted for God to answer his prayer and he did not stop praying until he received an answer. In Daniel chapter 9 we read that God sent and angel to give Daniel understanding about his prayer the first time he prayed.
How encouraging is it to know that those prayers you’ve been praying were heard the very first time? God starts moving in the heavenly realm to answer your prayers even when it looks like nothing is happening, when it looks like you’ve waited beyond your waiting point, and there is no sign or clue in sight of what you’ve been waiting for.
3) Prayer Goes Beyond Making Requests and Waiting for Results
Prayer changes lives. However, it does not always change our circumstance. Many times prayer changes our perspective and how we respond to our circumstance well before anything in our lives actually changes. As we make our requests to God there is usually time between our petition and God actually answering. We still need to pray during this time because prayer goes far beyond making requests to God. It’s about connecting with Him and aligning our will to His. It’s in this type of prayer where we really see change occur not only in our situation but more importantly in our hearts.
4) Prayer Works
Prayer brings healing, power, strength, and comfort when we actually take the time to pray. There are things we may forfeit if we give up on praying. James tells us: “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” – James 5:16 NIV
5) Prayer Allows the Power of God into Our Lives
You may be wondering why even pray if God already knows what we need? Well, there are simply some things in our lives that require prayer before God releases them to us. When Jesus’ disciples were unable to heal a possessed boy in Mark 9, the boy’s father asked if Jesus could save the boy. Of course Jesus could and He did. When Jesus’ disciples asked why they were unable to heal the boy as Jesus did Jesus replied:
“This kind can come out only by prayer.” – Mark 9:29 NIV
There are just certain things that only come into our lives through the power of prayer.
6) Prayer Helps Us Stay Focused on God
When we pray we are placing ourselves in a posture that says we really need God in our lives and we can’t do this life without His help. Why is this so important? Because God is our source and without prayer connecting us to Him we lose the power to live the lives He’s called us to live. Prayer prevents us from slipping into the dangerous thinking that we can handle this life without God. The type of thinking that causes us to lose focus on our very source of strength and power.
7) Prayer is Also About Listening
Usually when we think of prayer we think about what we want to ask God. As we’ve learned however, prayer is how we communicate with God not just to God. Any good communication goes both ways. Not only should we be talking but we should also be hearing from God. One word from Him may be the simple answer we needed all along.
8) Just Because You Want to Quit Doesn’t Mean You Have To
I know prayer is not always the easiest thing to do, especially if you’ve been praying for the same thing over and over again. If something isn’t working it seems logical to stop trying, right? Well, that’s not how prayer works. The more you pray, the stronger you get regardless of the outcome. So I want to encourage you not to give up in this area of your life. Galatians reminds us:
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” – Galatians 6:9 NIV
Each prayer you pray is planting a seed of faith that will produce a harvest under one condition: that you don’t give up.
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