Why Men Ought To Pray But Do Not

Title: “Why Men Ought To Pray, Yet Do Not” 

Text: Luke 18:1


  • We don’t believe (Hebrews 11:6, Romans 10:14). 


      1. The Bible says, “He that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:6).
        1.  We must really believe “He is” or we will never come to Him in prayer.
          1.  If we don’t come to Him in prayer we inevitably don’t really believe.
        2. We don’t believe God will hear or answer our prayers. We either don’t believe He is able to answer our prayers, our request is to big for Him, He can’t handle it, He’s too far removed (transcendent), or He doesn’t really care enough to intervene on our behalf.
      2. Nothing is too hard or difficult for Him (Ephesians 3:20, Genesis 18:14, Job 42:2, Jeremiah 32:17 & 27, Luke 1:37, Matthew 19:25-26)
        1. God does care and desires to meet our every need (1 Peter 5:7, Philippians 4:19). 
        2. We must correct our thinking and then we will be free to seek Him in prayer (Proverbs 23:7a).


  • The weakness of our flesh (Mark 14:37-38).


      1.  “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Mark 14:38). 
        1. Our flesh is opposed to anything spiritual and will fight us all the way. (Galatians 5:17).
        2.  If you want to see how weak your flesh is try praying for an entire hour (Mark 14:37).


  • We lack spiritual discipline.


      1.  We may be saved, sanctified and Spirit-Filled, but without discipline we will never spend quality time with God in prayer. 
      2. The Psalmist wrote, “Delight yourself in the Lord; And He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, and He will bring it to pass” (Psalms 37:4-5).
        1. No one ever spends regular quality time in prayer without commitment and discipline.
      3. We must have a resolve that nothing will get in our way of spending time with God. It will help to set apart a specific time for daily prayer. 
    1. We’ve left our first love.
      1.  Jesus said to the church of Ephesus, “I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent” (Revelation 2:4). 
        1. We no longer have that enjoyment of God’s presence we once had. We have left our first love and must return.
      2. Like many couples, we start off loving spending time with each other and as time goes on we let the fire die out and spend less and less time with each other. At the beginning of the relationship nothing could keep us apart. It’s the same with our relationship with God. We have forgotten that “in Your (His) presence is fullness of joy; at Your (His) right hand there are pleasures forever” (Psalms 16:11).


  • We don’t want God to interfere.


      1.  Hudson Taylor said “Whenever we truly get alone with God, He’ll deal with our lives.” When we get alone with God in prayer, we put ourself in a place for God to work in our life.
      2. Like the rich young ruler He begins to put His finger on things in our life (Matthew 19:16-22). 
        1. Not to spend time in prayer shows we are unwilling for God to mess around in our life. Let’s expose ourself to Him in prayer allowing Him to do what He desires in us. 


  • There’s sin in our life.


      1.  John Bunyon said, “Prayer will make a man cease from sin as sin will entice a man to cease from prayer.” 
        1. when we have had failure in any area, we are less likely to spend quality time with God. 
        2. We feel guilty and unworthy and unmotivated to approach Him. This is why we must keep ourself in right standing and immediately make things right with Him when we have failed (1 John 1:5-9).
      2. “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16).
        1. To obtain mercy denotes we have messed up in someway and therefore we are in need of mercy. When we have failed, let’s boldly run to Him instead of running away from Him.


  • Laziness. 


      1. Prayer is often laborious. 
        1. It was said of Epaphras that he was “always labouring fervently for you in prayers” (Colossians 4:12). 
      2.  Paul requested of the Romans, “I beseech you, brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christ’s sake, and for the love of the Spirit, that you strive together with me in your prayers to God for me” (Romans 15:30). 
        1. We must strive in prayer to God. Therefore, our lack of prayer is often the result of laziness.
          1. We are exhorted, “not slothful (lazy or sluggish) in business, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord” (Romans 12:11).
          2.  “That ye be not slothful (lazy or sluggish), but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises” (Hebrews 6:12).
        2.  Prayer demands thought, concentration, effort, resolve and persistence. Let’s discipline ourselves in seeking the face of God.
      3.  Isaiah cried, “There is none that calleth upon Thy name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of Thee” (Isaiah 64:7). Let’s stir ourselves to lay hold of God with all we have within us.


  • We don’t prioritize prayer.


      1. We don’t have time to pray or more accurately, we don’t make time to pray. 
        1. Other things take priority over prayer. 
          1. This is proof of idolatry (1 John 5:21). 
          2. We are to “seek first His kingdom and His righteousness” (Matthew 6:33).
        2. Even those in full time ministry let things sneak in to rob us from spending quality time with God in prayer
    1. We become discouraged. 
      1. Jesus said, “Men ought always to pray, and not to faint” (Luke 18:1). 
        1. We often become fainthearted when we don’t see the results to our prayers right away. 
      2. Jesus goes on to teach us a parable of a widow who goes to an unjust judge seeking help. The judge seems to ignore and refuse to listen to her. She is undaunted by his refusal and relentlessly continues going to him with her request until he says,
        1.  “Though I do not fear God nor regard man, yet because this widow troubles me I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me” (Luke 18:4-5).
        2. Jesus went on to say, “Hear what the unjust judge said. And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth” (Luke 18:6-8)?
      3. This persistence in prayer is the type of faith God is looking for in His people.


  • We lack the spirit of prayer. 


    1. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Prayer.
      1.  Paul wrote, “You have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption whereby we cry out, Abba, Father” (Romans 8:15).
      2. “Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying, “Abba, Father” (Galatians 4:6).
        1.  If we do not have a sense of the Holy Spirit crying out to God from within us we may not have received His Spirit through the new birth.
    2. If we have been born again and we aren’t stirred by the Spirit of prayer, perhaps we need a fresh charge of this Spirit of Prayer or we need to be filled anew with the Holy Ghost.
  1. Disciplining ourselves with time in God’s Word and prayer
    1.  will help to rekindle this in our life (Ephesians 5:18-19 and Colossians 3:16).
    2.  I have noticed, the more time I spend in prayer, the more I sense the Holy Spirit crying out from within me to God.

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