“Search me, O God...”

Reasons as to why Christians are supposed to pray have overwhelmingly been ingrained in my mind from a very early age. Using psychology terms, prayer was a nurtured experience; growing up in a Christian home and learning by listening to my parents’ prayers, etc. Although this is a blessing, simultaneously it can promote passivity and legalistic motivations to pray–I’m guilty.

On the flip side, reasons to not pray exist as well. I possess many playing cards that are customized explanations of why I don’t pray when I can feel the Lord tugging at my heart. A few of those being:

“I’ll do it later when I can fully focus.”
“Everything in my life is good. Why should I?”
“I already know God’s answer.”
“I’m ashamed.”

These explanations are incredibly telling of my heart’s current health- the core root being pride. Too often, the reasons why Christians don’t pray are overlooked and not processed because most or all of the focus is on the why we’re supposed to. This creates an easier path to legalism as opposed to cultivating a deep desire to pray. Both are required and need investigation.

This week, I encourage you to do two things: First, read and study Psalm 139. Second, make a list of your “best,” playing cards that prevent you from praying and unveil the core that’s motivating them. The beautiful truth is that God is all-knowing and gracious. Our Heavenly Father sees the health of our heart every second of the day and still chooses to pursue and nurture it to a healthy place. But first, we need to acknowledge and bring those reasons to the altar, otherwise they’ll continue to thrive and impact the place where our heart dwells.

“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

–Emily Espinoza
Associate Director of Youth MInistry