It’s estimated that a typical Christian spends about three-and-a-half minutes each day in prayer. Why do we fail to take advantage of the privilege of prayer? Is it a lack of discipline? Are we unmotivated?
If we aren’t captivated by God, prayer is a tedious task. I once regarded prayer as “gutting it out” before God. Rather than being dynamic communion with the Sovereign Lord, prayer was an exercise meant to manipulate God’s hand. Lifeless and tedious, prayer was like bitter medicine: tasting terrible, but good for me.
Yet God reminded me of the truth I was neglecting: He wanted to commune with me. Communion is the intimate sharing of thoughts and emotions. We need to respond to God about the specific things He has spoken to us about. God may speak to us about His holiness through His Word, but our mind is preoccupied with how we can pay next month’s rent. So when we put down the Bible we pray not about His holiness, but the rent money!
It is not wrong to pray about our needs, but God wants us to listen to Him and give Him a proper response. Imagine telling someone, “I love you very much,” only to hear in response, “I hope I get a raise at work.” Such conversations don’t build intimacy in a relationship. Growing in reverent communion with God isn’t an activity, but an attitude of heart.