How many sermons have you heard on prayer? How many books have you read on prayer? It has always been and it always will be a topic to be discussed and an activity to be inspired because prayer is the linchpin of our Christian life. Without it our spiritual wheels tend to fall off and we get nowhere.
Yet, studies tell us that few Christians—I’m talking about true believers in Jesus Christ who have been born from above and found new life in Christ—few really have a significant and effective prayer life. Why? Well, there are many answers to the question of why we don’t pray more. One reason is it takes discipline and many haven’t learned to be disciplined. That means you have to designate a time for prayer each day and stick to it. Another reason is that prayer has a low priority in our schedules. We leave it for “leftover” time instead of making sure it gets done first.
And then another key reason we don’t have effective prayer lives is because we haven’t learned how to pray effectively. Prayer is something to be learned. We know that because Jesus’ disciples asked him to teach them how to pray, and he did. He gave them a format for prayer which we have called the Lord’s Prayer.
Do you follow that format for your own prayer life? Don’t you think that if Jesus taught us to pray in that way, we should? That doesn’t mean you quote the Lord’s Prayer every day, but you structure your prayer to have the same components as our Lord taught.
Prayer is something you learn to do and get better at doing the more you practice it and learn about it. In our business lives, we wouldn’t dare “wing it” with an important sales presentation, where a big order was at stake. When something is important to our lives, we plan and prepare and give it a lot of attention. Yet, many Christians approach prayer very carelessly and undisciplined, and then wonder why their prayers seem lifeless and humdrum.