In this episode Anthony discusses tells how the Lord provided for him to attend this years Shepherd’s Conference, does a shout out to the upcoming Christianity Explored Annual Conference on April 25, 2020, and discusses just a few reasons why it is that we don’t pray.
- I’ll be at The Shepherd’s Conference This Week
- Save the Date! Christianity Explored’s Annual Conference is April 25, 2020
- Jesus Made Time to Pray
- Prayer: More than Just Asking for Stuff
Hey, everybody, this is Anthony, thanks so much for joining me. Welcome back. It’s great to be with you with another edition of Thy Kingdom Comma. Today we’re going to be talking about why don’t we pray more?
What are some reasons that frankly, we as Christians, don’t pray as much as we ought to. And I don’t mean in a quantitative set number of minutes every day, I mean, qualitative, in a quality way.
But a couple other things I wanted to talk about.
I’ll be at The Shepherd’s Conference This Week
About as you’re listening to this, if you’re listening to this when I release it, I will be at the Shepherd’s Conference in Los Angeles at John MacArthur’s church. So if you’re there this week, I would love to meet you. I’ll be around. So hopefully we get to meet one another.
I’m really excited. It’s my first time there. I’m just I’m thrilled to be there. I hope to see you there. I know Andrew Rappaport is there from strivingforeternity.org. Hopefully you’ve heard of Andrew before and hope you visited his website and took a look at his ministry. He’s doing some really cool things. He’s also basically the head of–I don’t know if officially I can call him the head of it but I guess so–the Christian Podcast Community. If you’ve not checked that out, if you go out to podcasts.strivingforeternity.org/shows you can check out the Christian Podcast Community and to see some of the shows that are out there. There are some neat podcasts.
So, so yeah, so that’s that’s really exciting. That was actually something that I had no plan, no intention of being out of the the shepherd’s conference. And then literally last week, the Lord gave me an opportunity that, as far as I’m concerned, I don’t play the lottery but I won the lottery.
I mean, it was just a totally out of the blue. The Lord just shocked me. When a friend of mine said, “Hey, are you able to take some time off of work and you want to go to the Shepherd’s Conference?” And I was like, “Yeah!” And then what was really cool about it was like, one after the other after the other, the Lord just lined everything up. And so anyway, I just thank God for the opportunity. It’s just a really a lifetime opportunity to me, and I am especially grateful. So if you’re listening to this, hopefully we get to meet up, that’d be great.
Save the Date! Christianity Explored’s Annual Conference is April 25, 2020
Also, I want to Say that on April 25 2020, here in Greenville, South Carolina, is the Christianity Explored Annual Conference. So if you’re in the Greenville area or you can commute to Greenville, I would encourage you to sign up and attend the event.
The 24th is their like I guess like their fundraising night, it’s a Friday night. And then the 25th is their annual conference with the speakers and everything and the theme this year is BUILDING BRIDGES TO THE GOSPEL. So that’s the that’s the theme this year they’re gonna have speakers Rico Tice is coming over from the UK he’ll be he’ll be speaking and a few others.
It’s going to be at Heritage Bible Church, which is right in Greer. It’s 2005 old Spartanburg road in Greer, South Carolina. And actually it’s kind of cool, I don’t live that far away from there.
And if you’ve not heard of Christianity Explored what it is, is it’s basically like a seven week home Bible study, an evangelistic Bible study to, obviously, point people to Christ. So I’ll read from their website for a second–
What’s the best news you’ve ever heard? Was it surprising? Did it change the way you think? Or was it something you wanted to be true, but didn’t there hope? Christianity explored as a way of sharing the best news ever heard, and gives people space and time to think about the big questions of life over seven sessions in Mark’s gospel, find out more about the life of the person at the heart of the Christian faith. Jesus Christ.
It’s a neat ministry and their North American branch is actually based here in Greenville as well. So, in fact, maybe I can try to get Alan from that ministry on on the show to talk about this. That’d be kind of neat. So I want to encourage you. I’ll put a link in the show notes where you can register on Eventbrite. If you can attend, I think it’s like $30. It would be great if you could attend and support that.
Jesus Made Time to Pray
But I wanted to share with you out of Mark’s gospel, we’ll look at two passages in Mark chapter one, at the end or middle of the chapter, starting in verse 32.
That evening at sundown, they brought to him that’s Jesus, all who were sick or oppressed by the demons by or by demons, and the whole city was gathered together at the door. And he healed many who are sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons. And he would not permit the demons to speak because they knew him.Mark 1:32ff ESV
So again, the context is that evening at sundown, right at sundown, the whole town comes out basically. And they bring their sick and their demon possessed to Jesus. How long this went on, we have no idea how late it went. We have no idea.
But notice what happens next verse 35.
And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place. And there he prayed.Mark 1:35ff ESV
Isn’t that interesting? That even though the Lord didn’t get a full night’s sleep, he made a point of getting up early and going out and obviously you know, it’s dark and probably cool. I mean, even in the summertime, right, we find it a cool in the morning sooner we’re accustomed to the warmer days but in the mornings, it’s, it’s cool to us. So whatever it was, it was dark, probably cool. And he went out to a desolate place. And there, he prayed. So that’s, that’s one passage I want us to look at.
Another one is a little further into Mark, in chapter 6. It says in verse 45, this is after the feeding of the 5000,
Immediately he made his disciples get into the boat, and go on before him to the other side to Bethsaida where he dismissed the crowd. And after he had taken leave of them, he went up on the mountain, to pray.Mark 6:45 ESV
So once again, after a full day of ministry, the Lord sends the disciples away. And then he sends the crowds away. And then he goes off by himself to pray. And so I think that’s really important for us. And I think it’s a good way to, to start this discussion because it seems like oftentimes we have a hard time starting to pray.
Prayer: More than Just Asking for Stuff
And when I say pray, I don’t mean simply asking God for help, right? We we can do that plenty. We we seem to have no problem asking God for this or for that. What I mean when I talk about prayer is is exactly what we see the Lord doing. Making a point of getting alone with God. That’s, I think something that we lacked, oh, we should always want to be able to spend more time with the Lord and to be more prayerful that that should be the the ache of our hearts. Right? But why do we sometimes find it difficult to pray? Well, here are some ideas.
And I’m just going to run through a list and maybe I’ll make some comments on them. But, and if you have another idea, if you have another reason why, feel free to email me at show at thykingdomcomma.com. show at thykingdomcomma.com.
By the way, if you want show notes for this, visit https://www.thykingdomcomma.com/9.
So we’ll talk about reasons we don’t pray, right after this.
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So we’re trying to think of reasons that we don’t pray or maybe don’t pray consistently, regularly. And so here are some some reasons I came up with in no particular order.
Reasons We Don’t Pray: Laziness
But I would say the first reason is laziness. The first reason we don’t pray is laziness. So sometimes we, you know, I know for myself, like for instance, if I overeat, and I’m sitting I’m just, I don’t want to do anything because I’m stuffed on lazy, I don’t want to do anything. And the last thing I really want to do (I know this sounds kind of strange, but) is to pray on a full stomach. It just makes you sleepy and lazy and you just don’t want to do anything. But other times we’re lazy for different reasons. So laziness is a reason we may choose in a given time, not to pray.
By the way, I hope that when the Holy Spirit urges you to pray that you Listen, do you do that?
It’s something I learned somewhere from someone right? As you walk with the Lord more you know the Lord. There’s all this kind of stuff that just comes into your life and you have no idea who taught it to you. But that was something that somebody taught me somewhere along the way is, you know, as the Holy Spirit urges you to pray, listen to him, and obey Him and pray.
10 reasons or more reasons we don’t pray, #1 laziness.
Another Reason: Distractions
Number two, Distractions, right, we’re distracted by all of my goodness, stupid phone, the the buzzes, the dings, the the different notices and all these things. a text message comes in an email comes in our phones just that the phone itself is a world of distractions. But there’s so many other distractions.
We can be distracted by, by everything by just everything. The chair we’re sitting in is not comfortable. The position if you kneel when you pray, you know, you get distracted by your blood circulation, you know, in your in your knees, or whatever the case is distractions. Also, of course, you know, we’re just distracted by leisure activities. There’s so many things that vie for our attentions. We don’t pray.
We say, Oh, well, I’m just gonna flop on the couch, watch some TV for a couple hours and zone out. And I’m not saying that that’s wrong. You know every now and then that you that few hours a week it’s you know, you want to watch something that’s at least somewhat edifying or whatever. You know, that’s a whole ‘nother topic. But you know, watching TV in and of itself isn’t bad, sitting on the couch that you own isn’t bad, but we can be this driven to distraction is what I’m saying.
Another Reason We Don’t Pray: Busyness
Busyness is another reason that I think we don’t often make a concerted, regular effort to really seek the Lord in prayer. We are just so busy. And then maybe by the end of our busyness, we have no energy left to concentrate, to to be with the Lord, and really, to pray to really spend time with the Lord. It does take mental energy.
Now, I’ll say this. I have found and you probably have to that when there are times that I didn’t really want to pray, or I was too tired or I said, Oh, you know, you’re too tired, just go to bed, you’ll feel better pray in the morning. Sometimes if I make the effort to start to pray, it’s it’s really pretty funny. It’s like it, it invigorates you, and the Holy Spirit helps in that time and invigorates you to keep on praying.
Sometimes if I make the effort to start to pray, it’s it’s really pretty funny. It’s like it, it invigorates you, and the Holy Spirit helps in that time and invigorates you to keep on praying.
There have been times when, you know, I was so tired, I didn’t even want to pray. But I did because I, I wanted to be obedient. And so I’d start praying. And then next thing I know, a chunk of time passes and I’m like, Wow, that’s, that’s really cool. I’m invigorated. So, busyness is a reason that we sometimes don’t pray.
We Don’t Pray Because of Guilt and Shame from Sin
How about this: How about guilt and shame from sin? Right. We know that there’s something going on between us and the Lord that we need to talk about the Holy Spirit’s convicting us about it, but we don’t, so there’s that whole guilt and shame, right?
The whole Adam and Eve and hiding from God kind of the thing.
Well, there again, that’s just not trusting in the promises of God, trusting and what the Word says, trusting that we can go to the Lord, like john talks about in 1 John [1 John 1:9),
If we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness1 John 1:9
So we believe the lies from the accuser saying, You shouldn’t be praying right now you’re not, you’re not worthy to pray or whatever the case is that whatever lies he wants to put in our heads, or we just, frankly, we don’t want to repent yet.
There are times that I know I should be praying. I know I should be reading my Bible. But in that moment, I don’t want to repent. I’m not ready to repent. And so there’s this spiritual battle that goes on and finally, I have to tell myself, ANTH, YOU’RE BEING AN IDIOT, GO AND PRAY!
Laziness, Distractions, Busyness, Guilt and shame… Those are just four. And we’re already out of time. And I’ve got more.
So I’m going to save these for another episode, because I started talking about the shepherd’s conference and I started talking about Christianity explored, we’ll come back and pick up more reasons why we don’t pray. Next time. How about that?
All right. But in the meantime, I hope that these kind of stir your heart and do motivate you, to pray, to go and be alone with the Lord, to do like what Jesus did in his earthly life. And make time make it a priority to go and be alone and seek the Lord. All right, God bless you. Thanks so much for listening. You are such an encouragement to me. So thank you for that. If you’re enjoying the show, please share it with a friend. You go out to Apple podcasts and give us a good old honest review. That would be great if you would do that. Be very helpful. If you have any ideas for the show, email me at show at night Kingdom comma calm and, and that’s it. So God bless you have a wonderful week and I look forward to seeing you next time!
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
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