Failure is a tough word. We may not like the idea that we can fail in prayer. But when we don’t pray God’s way and when we don’t allow the Holy Spirit to help us pray, that guarantees that we will fail in prayer. Here are seven ways many Christians will fail in prayer.
God’s way – We don’t pray God’s way. You will definitely fail in prayer if you insist on praying your own way instead of God’s way. We all naturally tend to pray to impress others. God wants us to pray, however, not to impress anyone or to show them how righteous we are, but simply to receive from Him what we need and what He desires to give us.
Jesus has instructed us to pray in this way: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven…” (Matt. 6:9-13). Let this model prayer guide you in your prayers, praying always for the Father’s will—and then you will never fail in prayer.
Holy Spirit – We don’t pray in the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is that person of the trinity who helps us pray: He brings to us the desires that are on God’s heart, and then He helps us to express those desires in thoughts and words of prayer.
But the Holy Spirit cannot or will not help us in prayer if we are not completely given over to Him—if He does not fill our total being. Therefore, the whole reason why we fail in prayer is because we have failed to make the Holy Spirit and Christ our Lord. Make Christ Lord today and be filled with the Holy Spirit—and your prayers will never fail!
Importunity – We don’t pray with importunity. Importune prayer means to pray repeatedly with persistence until God brings the answer. This kind of prayer never lacks in hope and never lacks in energy; it is energized by the Holy Spirit who continually helps us to pray for the things that are on God’s heart. Importune prayer helps us to set our mind on things above; consequently, our prayers will never fail.
Importune prayer is the only kind of prayer that is of the Holy Spirit and the only kind of prayer that God hears; thus it follows that your prayers will always fail if you don’t pray with importunity.
Jesus’ Name – We don’t pray in Jesus’ Name. When one prays in Jesus’ name, he identifies himself with Christ and prays in harmony with the Spirit of Christ; therefore, he is able to claim in prayer victory all that is Christ’s. But those who do not pray in Jesus’ name cannot claim anything in prayer, because they do not know the will of God, nor do they pray with power.
Kneeling – We have not prayed using the appropriate prayer posture. If we refuse the posture of prayer that the Holy Spirit is urging us to use, whether it be sitting, standing, or on our knees, we are disobedient to God and we cut off from ourselves the true Spirit of prayer. Yes, without a doubt, because we do not use the posture that the Holy Spirit suggests for us—that posture that is most natural and appropriate to pray the things that are on God’s heart—we do not enter into the correct state of mind for prayer; thus our prayers fail miserably.
Length of prayer – we aren’t willing to pray long enough. All prayer take a certain amount of time: time to humble ourselves and to be quiet before God, time to meditate on the words and thoughts of God, and time to listen to God and to wrestle with what God wants us to pray. Moreover, we need time to properly express in words all the thoughts that God brings us, and all the requests that come to our mind. Now since all true prayer takes time to work through, we will certainly fail in prayer if we cut that time short.
Motives – We pray with wrong motives. The very heart and soul of prayer is in the motives of prayer. When we pray with selfish motives, thinking only to please ourselves with no regard to the glory of God, we corrupt our prayers to the core. God pays no attention to these prayers.