Prayer is essential for the Christian, as much for what it says about us as for what it can do through God. The simple act of getting on our knees (or faces or feet or whatever) for 5 or 50 minutes every day is the surest sign of our humility and dependence on our Father in heaven. There may be many reasons for our prayerlessness—time management, busyness, lack of concentration—but most fundamentally, we ask not because we think we need not. or we think God can give not. Deep down we feel secure when we have money in the bank, a healthy report from the doctor, and powerful people on our side. We do not trust in God alone. Prayerlessness is an expression of our meager confidence in God’s ability to provide and of our strong confidence in our ability to take care of ourselves without God’s help.
Too often when we struggle with prayer we focus on the wrong things. We focus on praying better instead of focusing on knowing better the one to whom we pray. We focus on our need for discipline rather than our need for God. Almost all of us want to pray more frequently, and yet our lives seem too disordered. But in God’s mind our messy, chaotic lives are an impetus to prayer instead of an obstacle to prayer.
You don’t need to work and work at discipline nearly as much as you need faith. You don’t need an ordered life to enable prayer, you need a messy life to drive you to prayer. You don’t need to have everything in order before you can pray. You need to know you’re disordered so you will pray. You don’t need your life to be fixed up. You need a broken heart. You need to think to yourself: “Tomorrow is another day that I need God. I need to know him. I need forgiveness. I need help. I need protection. I need deliverance. I need patience. I need courage. Therefore, I need prayer.”
If you know you are needy and believe that God helps the needy, you will pray. Conversely, if we seldom pray, the problem goes much deeper than a lack of organization and follow through. The heart that never talks to God is the heart that trusts in itself and not in the power of God. Prayerlessness is unbelief.
Prayerfulness, on the other hand is an evidence of humility and faith, which is why God loves it when we pray.