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  • Writer's pictureZach Gendall

Why Does Prayer Feel Hard?

People at A Praying Life Seminar

“Why is praying hard?”

This was a question that was asked the other week at our A Praying Life Seminar hosted by the seeJesus ministry at CCC.

As the speaker, Keith Grant posed this question, I looked around the room fully expecting to hear nothing but awkward silence, certainly, no one would feel comfortable speaking up. 

Instead, I was blown away as the room of roughly one hundred people began to share their answers, at first quietly and then in greater quantity and confidence. 

“How do I know He is listening?”

“I’m not sure how to pray.”

“Am I being selfish with my prayers?”

“God doesn’t care about my prayers.”

“If I don’t see a response quick enough, what’s the point?”

The list went on and on. 

It was a beautiful moment to see everyone’s willingness to be vulnerable. Sharing some of these deep thoughts with a room of other believers that they may or may not have ever met. The seminar continued from Friday evening into Saturday morning by delving into our frustrations and other insecurities with prayer. The whole time, we looked at Jesus’ powerful yet simple teachings on prayer and the example he has set for us.

Verses like 2 Corinthians 6:18 and Mark 10:13-16 remind us;

“I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.”

2 Corinthians 6:18 NIV

People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them.

Mark 10:13-16 NIV

 The seminar encouraged us to practice becoming child-like, patterning after Jesus’ own teaching and style of prayer. Teaching us to ask our Father in heaven anything – with eyes wide open to the story He is creating in our lives, we are to come before Him and feel comfortable speaking to Him as a child would. Children can often make bold requests or ask questions that seem silly like: “ Can I have a pony” or “Dad, why is the moon not pink?” As parents, these questions don’t anger us, or lead to us loving them less. 

Our prayer life with God as Christians should be as natural as breathing air. We need to feel comfortable speaking to our Father as His children in a natural, or even a messy manner, and know that He always will love us. 

Furthermore, we are told by Jesus in John 14:

“Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.”

John 14:12-14 NIV

We are encouraged to ask boldly in Jesus’s name when we pray. James 4:2-3 tells us there are two dangers in prayer. Not asking or praying at all, and asking for our own motives and not asking so the Father may be glorified.

I would encourage us all today to spend more time in prayer and to feel more comfortable coming before our Father as His children. Just as a child can come before their parents and ask any question, or make any request, our Father loves us and wishes the same for us.

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