This is actually a bit of an overstatement, but still has a lot of truth in it as I take a look at prayer. When looking at Scripture prayer is drenched with its worth, understanding and application. I know the reasons to pray, I even have the best example I could ask for, which is Christ my Saviour, often slipping away by his lonesome to pray. We are told to pray without ceasing, yet I find many reasons to not pray. I figured I would put forth 3 reasons I hate to pray.
1. Where's the Recognition?
There are many things I can do to get some notoriety. I can preach, teach, write, I can serve others and can get many accolades on how great of a Christian I am. People will pat me on the back and tell me how smart I am and how much I live like Jesus lived. I can be the awesome Christian even more when I tell them, "It is only because of Jesus that I do these things." Again, what amazing humility I show with that response. Maybe I even throw in a verse or passage that I have memorized there to make it even more holy and to show that I am "hiding God's word in my heart."
But, with prayer, it isn't like this. Prayer is between God and I. Prayer is a private time that I share with my Creator to speak with him. It is a time where I admit how much of an idiot I am and how great He is. It is a time where I beg him for mercy, thank him for grace and ask him to search out the sin that is within me. But, the problem with all this is that know one sees me doing this and no one says how great of a Christian I am when I say, "amen." One of the reasons I hate prayer is that God is the only one who is praised and I am left out, revealing the lowly creature that I am totally dependant on God and his goodness. Just me and God. Just praise for God. No praise for my greatness. That just sucks.
2. I Don't Believe It Does Anything
Why would I pray and waste time doing it if I can just do it myself. Why would I pray that God would enlighten my heart to his truths if I can just study the passage, the original languages and commentaries and learn that way. It will be much quicker. My hatred of prayer becomes evident when decisions are made and things come up and instead of going to my place of solitude to lift my voice to God, I try to fix it myself. If I thought God could truly move and make his name great through my prayers, my life would look more like an unceasing prayer model. But, my lack of prayer life shows that I really don't believe God will do anything because of my prayer. Even though I don't call myself a hyper Calvinist, when I don't pray, practically I have become one.
I hate prayer because most of the time when people are sick and about to die, they don't live because of my prayer, but they die instead. I practically believe that my will shall be done, not God's. I believe that no one should die, that no one should lose their job, that no one should have struggles and hardships, and practically I have become a health and wealth proclaimer by not praying.
So, the second reason that I hate prayer is because I don't think it ever does anything and I want my selfish will to be done, not God's.
3. The Cross and Resurrection Hasn't Fully Captured My Heart
Because of the cross and resurrection of Christ, all believers become a part of the church of Christ, the bride and we have become married to Him. I hate prayer because I don't actually believe this to be true. If I loved Jesus and what he has done fully, I would desire to speak to God more. I would desire to go and commune and fellowship with my God and thank Him for the wonderful things that he has done for me. I would see that through the Cross, through struggles, the resurrection, God's glory shines through. I would see that everything, including my trusting in him, is in his hands fully.
But, because I have not fully been captured, I hate to pray to him. It is more like an arranged marriage where I hate the spouse. I do it because it is the only option. I do it because I have to. I don't fully trust him so why would I want to succumb to his authority and sovereignty? I don't fully believe that he has all things under the subjection of his feet, even my idolatry, struggles and successes. I don't believe that he is the one who has given me the power to create wealth and I don't believe that he is my treasure, but I believe in myself and my power and I would rather be single than married to him.
The cross and resurrection is not the root of my life, but is merely a belief. If I hate prayer, these things become an after thought and something that is like oxygen, it is always there, but I don't think I truly depend on it for my well being.
I know this post seems over the top and harsh at times, but it is one that I have had to truly ask myself about. I have had to ask myself why prayer is such a struggle in my life and these things have come to mind. I have struggled for many years with prayer and I truly hate that this is true. I want to be so transformed by the goodness of God, prayer is my first answer, not the fall back.
I want to truly not care about recognition, I want to truly believe that God's power is awesome and he hears our prayers and I want to captivated and transformed by the cross and resurrection of Christ. I am afraid that prayer sometime is an indicator of my true belief in these things. But, I also praise God for his patience and love for me even though I struggle. I praise God for the most wonderful verse that he has given my heart:
Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
If there was still condemnation for me who is in Christ, I am not sure where my life would be or what hope I would have, because I fail daily, but Christ is the Victor always.
May God be glorified, always.