Why I Don’t Pray
By Jonathan Graf
For the past 17 years, I have been in the “prayer mobilization” business. I am deeply involved in encouraging, equipping, and challenging both individual believers and churches of the need to pray more and grow in prayer.
The primary weapon we have as a believer is prayer. I believe that. I fully buy into Oswald Chambers’ famous statement, “Prayer does not equip us for greater works. Prayer is the greater work.” I often teach on Matthew 11:12, that the Kingdom of God is forcefully advancing—and the forceful people who lay hold of it, do so through prayer.
But during the past two to three years, I prayed less than at any time in my 17 years of prayer mobilization. Thankfully, since Prayer Connect’s first issue launch in July 2011, God has been doing a new work in me, reinvigorating my desires to connect with Him. But during the last few months I have been analyzing why I went through such a lull. I think it has something to do with why many believers—and especially churches—do not work much on improving their passion for prayer and experience of prayer, even when they have statements in their core values affirming prayer as primary.
I think there are four main reasons why most believers or churches do not pray much. The first three reasons: Many are not truly converted; many are not surrendered, and a lot of believers are disappointed with God.
The fourth reason relates to the truth that when we pray—serious prayer—we are doing what Matthew 16:18-19 implies: “And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”
We are entering a battlefield, going after the gates of hell. Prayer is attacking Satan’s domain. We are binding and loosing, bringing heaven to earth. And he hates it.
So what does he do? He attacks. He comes after the person of prayer or the praying church far more than anyone else, because they are a threat. And that takes a toll on pray-ers.
For the past six to seven years, my wife and I, our family and lives, have experienced unrelenting attack. And I got tired. So I pulled back some and was less aggressive in my Kingdom praying. But I can’t stay there any longer.
There are beaten-down churches and believers who raised the bar on prayer, but got so attacked that they have lessened their efforts. It is easier, things seem to go more smoothly when we don’t pray so aggressively, they reason. But we can’t stay there if we want to be Kingdom people and churches. We must pray.
Without our aggressive prayers, our people will stay in bondage and under strongholds. The lost don’t get saved. Communities will stay in Satan’s control. God has called us to be forceful people who lay hold.
Send me your comments: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jonathan Graf, publisher
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