What do you do if you aren’t praying? How do you stimulate yourself to pray when you are disinclined to pray and don’t pray? Everyone battles the temptation not to pray. The flesh resists prayer, no matter how much we say we want to pray (which is why Jesus told the disciples to keep watching and praying when they were tempted to sleep, Mk. 14:38).
Here are a list of some questions I keep in the back of my prayer journal to examine my heart when I am not praying or when I am tempted not to pray:
- Am I “too busy” to pray — exchanging the important for the urgent?
- Am I too distracted by the non-essential?
- Am I spiritually dry? Have I neglected feeding my soul with Scripture?
- Am I being prideful and self-sufficient? Do I believe (as evidenced by my actions) that I can work without God?
- Am I too bitter or angry to pray? Have I failed to forgive the sins of others (Mk. 11:25)?
- Is sin (i.e., my own sin) keeping me from praying?
- Am I too ashamed to pray (e.g., Gen. 3:8; Heb. 4:13)?
- Am I content with mediocrity, so that I don’t feel the necessity and importance of prayer?
- Am I too lazy to pray — unwilling to do the hard work of laying a foundation of prayer for my life with God?
- Am I ungrateful — and because I am ungrateful have slipped into believing that God is irrelevant or unnecessary?
Those are some of my questions that I use to exhort myself to quicken my prayer life. What are some self-examination queries that you use?