If you haven’t seen the movie, War Room, I highly recommend it. It’s about the victory we can have through prayer. Sadly, too many of us don’t pray regularly. I think that’s because we have believed the enemy’s lies about it.
Want to watch the video of this post instead? Scroll down.
#1 We don’t have time to pray.
This is a big lie! We imagine that we have to devote an hour of uninterrupted time to pray or we can’t pray at all.
The truth is that, unlike many other activities, we can multitask when we pray. We can pray while we drive, exercise, and do laundry.
We don’t have to set aside a specific time to pray (although that is an excellent practice). We are to be praying all through the day.
TRUTH: We have time to pray.
Rejoice always, pray continually… 1 Thessalonians 5:16
#2 We are too emotional to pray.
When we are angry, crying in despair, or even celebrating a blessing, we may believe we aren’t in the right emotional state to pray. Yet the Bible is full of prayers written by people who are very emotional.
Our emotions should prompt us to pray! God is not put off by our emotions. Yesterday I was angry and was tempted not to pray. I resisted the temptation and took my upset to the Lord in prayer. Within minutes, the anger was gone.
In the middle of an emotional state, we may not know what to pray. At those times, we can simply say His name.
TRUTH: Emotional times are the best times to pray.
In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. Romans 8:26
#3 We are too imperfect to pray.
The enemy reminds us of our sin and taunts, “You are the last person who should expect help from God.” He may even twist Scriptures like Proverbs 15:29. The LORD is far from the wicked: but he hears the prayer of the righteous.
The enemy knows that if he can get us believing that we have to be good enough to have our prayers answered, that we will never pray. Who can be good enough? Thanks be to God that this isn’t His standard for answering prayer. Instead, He asks that we come to Him in truth. The Lord loves the confessing tax collector and is put off by the prideful Pharisee.
TRUTH: God wants imperfect sinners to pray.
The LORD is near to all them that call on him, to all that call on him in truth. Proverbs 15:29
#4 There is only one way to pray.
Human nature resists rules. If there is only one prayer to pray, one place to pray, or one prayer posture, we won’t want to pray.
While there are beautiful prayers like the Lord’s prayer that are scripted, all prayer is beautiful to God. Prayer is simply conversation with our Creator. Having a prayer room would be lovely, but as I mentioned in lie #1, prayer is to be happening continually. We do not have to have a prayer room. Praying on our knees or on our face before God can be a powerful part of emotional prayer, but I spend my devotional time in a recliner! I want my time devoted to prayer to be my favorite part of my day and it is.
Determine what could make prayer time your favorite time and do it. Grab your favorite beverage, a favorite spot, and your favorite tools and pray.
TRUTH: Prayer can be any words, anywhere, any way.
I will therefore that men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting. 1 Timothy 2:8
#5 Our request is too small.
If you’re at church or in a Bible study and other people ask for prayer for someone with cancer or for someone who lost a job, you can feel like your request isn’t important enough to mention. We can take that attitude home with us.
The enemy knows that if he can convince us that our prayer request doesn’t compare to others’ needs, he can keep us from praying and trusting God. I wrote a post called Permission to Pray Little Prayers about this lie of the enemy. God wants us to pray about everything so we will not believe another pervasive lie: God helps those who help themselves. This is not found in Scripture. The enemy wants us to figure things out on our own. If you’d like a reminder as to why this is, reread the book of Genesis! Yes, God wants us to work for Him, but only after we have prayed.
TRUTH: God wants us to pray about everything.
Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. Philippians 4:6
#6 Prayer makes no difference.
This is the biggest lie about prayer. The enemy reminds us continually of our unanswered prayers–the prayers where it seems the enemy is enjoying victory. He wants us to ask, “What’s the point of prayer?”
This lie is based on Satan’s very first lie: God isn’t good. If he can get us to doubt God’s goodness, he can get us to stop praying. Many teachers today try to answer this lie by suggesting that God will always answer our prayers the way we want if we just have enough faith. But that answer suggests that God is only good if He does things our way. God is good even when our prayers aren’t answered in the way we hope.
Like a good parent, God doesn’t ask us to perform for Him in order to be loved. While we don’t know His purposes in unanswered prayer, we can know that God is good and that He loves us.
TRUTH: Prayer is powerful because God is a loving, powerful God.
If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him? Matthew 7:11