Sermon Illustrations

Richard Meyer on Reasons for Our Lack of Prayer

C. Richard Meyer gave three reasons for our lack of prayer in his chapter on praying for one another, in his book “One Anothering.”

1. First, he said that we don’t pray because we don’t know how to pray.

a. And that certainly can be a reason.

b. Many of us may feel like we don’t know where to begin, or we aren’t sure what to say.

c. There is a need to learn how to pray, it is not something that we know automatically.

2. Second, he said that we don’t pray because we don’t think prayer accomplishes much.

a. I don’t’ think that many people would admit to this, and yet many may feel that way.

b. Deep down we might think that prayer is a nice religious thing to do because it makes us feel better, but that’s about all it does.

c. Do we really believe that prayer moves the hand of God? Do we really believe that prayer unleashes the power of God?

d. If we really believe that shouldn’t it cause us to pray more than we do?

3. Finally, Meyer says that we don’t pray because we have a faulty concept of God.

a. If we view God as a cosmic kill-joy, then we will not go to God very often in prayer.

b. If we picture God as a colossal vending machine, whose sole purpose is to give us what we want, then we go to him, put in our quarter and out pops what we desire.

c. The problem is – that’s not the way it works. When we don’t get what we want, we become disappointed and angry and we kick the machine for swallowing our prayer.

d. The right view of God is to see Him as our Heavenly Father, who is a great parent who hears all our requests but gives us what is good for us, which is not always what we want.

e. Understanding that God is a loving, heavenly parent will have an effect on how we pray and on our desire to pray.


One Anothering, Richard Meyer, LuraMedia, 1990

4. I’d like to add two more to Meyer’s list – I think that sometimes we don’t pray as much as we should because we are too self-reliant, too self-sufficient.

a. We are over-confident in our own abilities to handle life.

b. We tell God that we will handle all the little stuff and only bring the big stuff to Him.

c. So we think we don’t need much prayer.

5. Also, we sometimes don’t pray because we have TB – too busy.

From a sermon by David Owens, Pray For One Another, 12/1/2009

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