I am convinced that the reason a lot of people give up on prayer is because they get bogged down mentally when they try to pray. They try to pray, but the thoughts just won't come. They can't think of what they need to be praying about. They just give up, and then afterward they feel really dissatisfied because they think they have failed.
Has this ever happened to you?
You don't have to fail. You don't have to get bogged down in prayer. The solution to that dilemma is to make notes ahead of time that will help you pray. You will realize after a while that it is NOT a crazy idea. Every praying person should have a prayer list of all the people and things they are praying for. Keep your prayer list available, and you will never run out of motivation to pray. You will be able to pray effectively again and again and again.
A written prayer list will take you into a new dimension in prayer. You WILL begin to see results immediately. I am telling you as forcefully as I know how -- you will be amazed at what God will do whenever you start taking this business of prayer seriously, and spend major, quality time with Jesus on a daily basis, talking to Him about the great needs in your life, and in the lives of others who are near and dear to you.
Another reason people don't pray is because they don't have discipline anywhere in their lives. Some people live by the seat of their pants. They never know from one day to the next what they are going to be doing with their lives. Some people never pray even thirty minutes over decisions that will affect them for the next fifty years.
That is all the more reason why you should pray. Getting your act together in prayer can be the beginning of a dramatic change in every area of your life. I am convinced that praying people are better people. Praying makes you a better person, and for many, many reasons.
Why are praying people better people?
Let me just throw a few reasons at you.
1. Praying people have a keener sense of priority.
2. Praying people are more mindful of God's will about a lot of the details in their lives.
3. Praying people are more aware of God's presence and how He is working in their behalf.
4. Praying people are more sensitive to the needs of the people that are near and dear to them.
5. Praying people are intercessory. They intend to make a difference, and they do.
6. Praying people are more caring. They contemplate the needs of their loved ones and make supplication to God in their behalf.
7. Praying people have more character. If you don't believe that, line up a thousand people who never pray beside a thousand people who pray daily (if you can find them) and just judge for yourself.
8. Praying people are critical components in the home, in the family, in the church, and in the community.
Let me stop here and tell you a brief story that relates to that last statement. When I was a kid in high school, back in Neanderthal times, all the kids called me "Preacher." I carried my Thompson Chain Reference Bible in the same stack with all my other books. Everybody knew I was a Christian. I wasn't a nag. I didn't make a big noise about being a Christian. I just was one. I believed in the Bible, and I prayed, and all those things.
I didn't have much contact with the popular crowd. They did their thing, and I did mine. But one day, there was a tragedy in the school. One of the most popular guys, a football player, was killed in an automobile accident. He and his girlfriend lost control and ran off the road into a roadside canal, and both of them drowned.
My phone started ringing. I couldn't believe my ears. It was several guys on the football team. They wanted me to accompany them to the funeral home. They were really upset about their friend being killed. I cannot explain how it happened, but those guys knew that I believed in God and that I prayed, and they needed somebody like that during this tragic time. I ended up chauffeuring four of them to the funeral. I was fortunate to be able to talk to them all about God and give them some spiritual guidance - something that none of them were getting anywhere else.
You know exactly what I am talking about. You may not feel that you have any significance to some of your family or members of your community. BUT... have you ever noticed that when they need somebody to PRAY - you are the one they call? If not, maybe it would do you good to bear down on your prayer life, so that others will come to depend on you for your prayers.
I can't think of anything I would rather have than a reputation for being a prayer warrior. In these dark times of social and moral disintegration, the world desperately needs men and women and young people who do not find it uncomfortable to get on their knees for an hour and bombard heaven in behalf of the endless list of needs that surround them on every hand.
Nothing could be more valuable to your family and friends than for them to be able to know assuredly that you are their prayer intercessor. You may not have money or means to help them in any other way, but if they know that you are actively and sincerely praying for them, you have done the biggest favor for them that anybody can do.