What gets in the way of prayer?

What we're talking about

So if you've ever sat in a church service or a Sunday school classroom more likely than not you've heard about prayer and how we should pray regularly to draw closer to God. But why is it so hard sometimes? In Matthew 26:30-46 we see the story of Jesus praying in the Garden of Gethsemane on the night he is to be betrayed. He tells the disciples to stay awake and to pray with him but 3 different times they fall asleep. As Peter says, "The spirit is willing but the body is weak."

There are 7 main roadblocks to prayer that we'll talk about

  • Anger: Sometimes we are angry at God and our anger keeps us from talking to Him, just as our anger sometimes keeps us from talking with a friend.
  • Busyness: We're often "too busy" for God.
  • Concentration: We try to pray but our thoughts wander.
  • Doubt: We have times when we wonder if God is really listening.
  • Excuses: What are some great excuses we use to not pray?
  • Forgetfulness: I mean to pray but...
  • Good Times: When things are going well, all too often we don't pay any attention to God. When the bad times come, we become super prayers again.

Identify your major roadblock and work to remove it from your prayer life with God.

Questions for Conversation

  • When do you think it's the hardest to pray?
  • Why might someone feel guilty about prayer?
  • What would you say is the biggest roadblock that keeps you from praying?
  • Even Jesus struggled in prayer. Read Matthew 26:39, how does Jesus resolve his own struggles with prayer? What does this say to us today?