Isn’t it amazing that we have the honor and privilege to share our lives with the Most High God??!! He is eager to hear every detail! His desire is to guide us, protect us, and equip us for whatever lies ahead. As we share our hopes, fears and deepest needs, we not only gain perspective but we have access to His mighty power and can experience His peace!! Prayer can change everything. It draws us into a deeper relationship with God and one another. No wonder praying together is one of our core practices!
Despite the power of prayer, many of us find it difficult to pray. Here are 4 barriers that make it hard to pray and suggestions to break them down.
Disconnected from God
Our prayer life overflows from our personal relationship with God. It can be tough trying to have a conversation with someone you haven’t spent much time with and prayer is just that…a conversation with God! When we spend regular time rooted and grounded in His love and in His word, it becomes easier to pray for ourselves and others. You matter to God. He wants nothing more than to be with you! Do whatever it takes to make your relationship with Him a priority.
It is hard to do most things in a hurry, but it is especially difficult to pray together when we are worried about getting to the next thing. Our overstuffed lives leave little time to listen, linger and lift each other up to the Lord. Busy is the enemy of cultivating relationships and building community. Try to slow down the pace of life. Have one less thing to do so that you can be with people in a significant way. Make sure you are leaving some margin to respond to God working.
Lack of confidence
Most people are intimidated at the thought of praying together. They are not sure what to say. They struggle to find just the right words, thinking that there is power in our eloquence of speech. Author Max Lucado says, “Our prayers may be awkward. Our attempts may be feeble. But since the power of prayer is in the one who hears it and not in the one who says it, our prayers do make a difference.” What a great reminder! Don’t worry about saying just the right thing. Tell God what someone needs and thank Him for what He’s done. Listen to what others have said as they have shared with you and pray back their thoughts and feelings. Acknowledge their joy or their hurt. Ask God to work out His will in their lives. Be assured that God is the one who knows, who hears, who cares and who acts!!
Doing the work of God rather than being with God
Often times we tend to focus on the work that God has called us to do over being with Him. Working feels more productive. But again, God wants nothing more than to be with you. Praying together is the most important thing we can do. It forms and shapes us. It helps us grow in intimacy and understanding with God and one another. As Pete Scazzero says, “What we do matters. Who we are becoming matters more.” You have the freedom to be with God first and foremost. If that means putting a task or item aside…even an important one…it’s ok because it is making room for what matters most.
Which barrier is affecting your ability to pray together? Ask God for His help and try some of these tips. He will give you all that you need!