I think there are three main reasons:

1.  Too busy
Our lives are so busy and cluttered.  We tend to schedule everything else, except pray.   We make time to watch rugby, but not to pray.  Perhaps we need to allocate time in our diary or go to bed an hour earlier in order to spend time in prayer.


2.  Don’t believe it makes a difference

Jesus and the early church were convinced that prayer makes a difference.  Jesus often woke up early to pray and would spend the entire night in prayer before big decisions.  The early Christians were often on their knees before God and God worked in awesome ways.

We, reformed people, believe (quite rightly) that God is sovereign over all of life.  We have read Ephesians 1:11.  But often we tend to think like this: If God is sovereign and everything happens according to his will, why pray?  What we should really be thinking however is this:   If God were not completely in charge there would be no use praying!


Think about it! Imagine you prayed, “God please save my children!” and God said, “Well, I tried to but you children are so naughty – they just won’t listen.”  Or if you prayed, “God please give us good weather for the gospel event on Saturday!” and God said, “I tried, but have you seen the weather forecast – just can’t do it. Sorry.”  Or imagine you prayed, “God, please change my husband”, and God replied, “I really tried but he drinks too much and is too stubborn!” 


If God were not completely, totally and actually in charge there would be no use praying.


So, if God is sovereign and his purposes and plans come to pass, does that mean my prayers will not change anything? What will be will be?  We see in the Bible the amazing truth that in God’s Sovereignty he uses our prayers to accomplish his purposes:  We are told to pray because God answers pray and we are also told that God in Sovereign and His purposes will never be thwarted.  As Christians, we hold to both these truths.


3.  Sin

1 Peter 3:7 is an interesting verse, it says, “Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.”

A husband should not sin against his wife as that will hinder his prayers. How?  Deliberate sin tarnishes our friendship with God.  We feel ashamed, full of guilt, embarrassed and reluctant to approach the holy God.
We should remember that Jesus has paid the price for all our sins by his substitutionary death.  The solution for us is to confess our sins before God, admit that we have done wrong and turn from those sins. Then thank God for the forgiveness we have through Christ, ask our wife’s forgiveness (or whoever else you sinned against$) and get praying!
Be encouraged to pray, for yourself, for your family, for your fellow Christians, for gospel workers and for people who don’t know Jesus.