All of us, from time to time, have had problems in our prayer time. Has this ever happened to you:
Sometimes when you begin to pray, you remember that there is something else you have to do. Perhaps make a phone call, do an errand. Sometimes when you pray, you become bored and say the words of prayer out of your head instead of your heart.
Sometimes when you pray, you become so sleepy that you can hardly keep your eyes open. Sometimes you become lazy and just don't want to pray. You want to do something else, anything else.
Sometimes when you pray, disturbing thoughts come to you such as , "Is this all true? Am I really doing anything worthwhile.I really don't feel any different." These thoughts draw you toward unbelief.
Sometimes when you pray, you become so thirsty that you feel you cannot pray another minute without a glass of cool water. Sometimes, you become so hungry that you feel you will faint if you don't get a snack RIGHT NOW.
Sometimes these things threaten to overwhelm you, and you feel sadness that your prayer is so weak.
My dearly beloved brothers and sisters, when you turn to God in prayer, the world of darkness declares war on you. The world of darkness finds nothing so terrifying as a man or woman or child who turns to God in heart-felt prayer. Satan and his denizens of darkness will try every means to confuse you and distract you from your purpose of learning how to pray.
All the problems I mentioned above are sent by Satan to turn you away from your Father God. When you turn to prayer, you can expect spiritual warfare. You can learn that all these distractions are from the enemy. It's almost like Satan can whisper in your ear.
Anytime Satan comes against you with power, it appears that he knows the great blessing that God has in store for you. It takes courage to pray, and it takes perseverance. Stick to it, don't quit, and never give up.
You will have moments of feeling close to God, or moments of warmth in your heart. These are mountaintop experiences. Oswald Chambers says God lets us have a moment on the mountaintop so we can go back into the demon-infested valley.
One thing to remember and write on the door-post of your heart. God hears you just as much when you're sleepy or distracted or bored or in unbelief. It takes more courage to fight on in the distractions of prayer than when the warmth of the love of God embraces you. Don't judge your prayer life by the good times, but by the hard times.
Draw near to God and he will draw near to you. You cannot judge the love of God by the way you feel in prayer. One moment of turning your heart toward God is better than a year in the best the world has to offer. The Psalmist says, "One day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere."
Be strong, persevere, stick to it. It does get better. Your faith does grow stronger, but we are to walk by "faith" and not by "sight." Over time, you will grow constant in prayer and your life will be transformed to the point that others who see you will say, "There's something about that man, that woman. I don't know what it is-BUT I WANT IT FOR MY LIFE." Prayer does not PREPARE you for the work of God. Prayer IS the work of God.
Our God awaits you and our God is a "consuming fire." As you get stronger in battle, God will use you to strengthen the other brothers and sisters.
"And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren." Luke 22:31,32, KJV.