We should pray much. We need to pray much. Jesus prayed much. If He needed to pray much, how much more should we pray? Secret prayer is the breath of the soul, yet many of us are weak and easily overcome by sin because we do not pray much. We will never enter into the fullness of communion with God, understand His Word, or have the power to relieve the woes of sin and Satan all around us, nor will we will make it into God’s kingdom, if we do not, “watch and pray” (Mark 13:33).
One reason we do not pray more is often because we do not know what to say. We do not know how to prevail with God with prayer and we give up too easily, too soon. We are not like Elijah, who persevered in prayer, and like Jacob who prevailed against the Angel of the Lord. We lack subject matter for prayer. We do not remember the promises of God in prayer. This reason can be overcome by reading the Bible on our knees and praying to God about what we are reading, the promises we believe, confessing the weakness of our faith, and depending on His Word.
Another reason we do not pray much is that we begrudge the time spent away from His Word in the limited time we have to worship God. We long to listen to God speak to us through His Word. This reason can be overcome by recognizing that the better part of study is prayer. Spiritual things are spiritually discerned (1 Cor. 2:14), so time spent in prayer is time invested in God’s Word. Jesus says, “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” There is a direct proportion between the time we may spend in prayer and the benefit gained from time studying God’s Word. Time praying about the Word of God is time in the Word.
A third reason we do not pray much is because we desire to work alongside Him for the salvation and joy of others. Our greatest joy is in sharing His Word and ministering to the needs of the world. We sense the presence of Christ when we do this. We crave His company and Spirit. We enjoy being refreshed by bringing refreshment to others (Prov. 11:25). Prayer is not time away from ministry — it is ministry. We may pray for the seeds of truth that we have sown with literature distribution, preaching sermons, teaching classes or ministering to the poor and sick.
The greatest victories which are gained to the cause are not by labored argument, ample facilities, abundance of influence, and plenty of means; but they are those victories which are gained in the audience chamber with God, when earnest, agonizing faith lays hold upon the mighty arm of power. (Testimonies 4:443.2).
Claim Scripture promises of being a blessing to the world, having fitness for ministry by the fruits and gifts of the Spirit (Acts 1:8; Gen. 12:3; 1 Cor. 12:6; Gal. 5:22-23) and realize we are not really taking time out from ministry in prayer. Prayer is powerful work for Christ.
A fourth reason we do not pray much more is that we forget or do not see the importance of prayer in the words of the Bible. Christ says, “Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man” (Luke 21:36). We need to realize that we need an experience we don’t have now in order to pass through dangerous times ahead. We should keep these thoughts in mind when tempted to indulge our hearts with “surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life” (Luke 21:34), realizing that the joy of knowing Christ and preparing others to meet Him is far better than anything this world, which is passing away (1 John 2:17), now offers.