One Big Reason the Church Doesn't Pray

Are We Being Counterproductive?

We as people—and especially as Christians in our day and age—are smart and resourceful. There are so many things that we can do. So, we’re filled with a sense of pride which instead of increasing the sense of ambition that we have, decreases the amount of ambition that we have.

While our ambitions may increase quantitatively—there are things we want to do, churches we want to plant, people that we want to see come into the doors of the church—all of our ambitions tend to revolve around things that we can do by ourselves, in our strength, in our own power, in our lifetime.

As we pray, we attach ourselves to God’s agenda.

Because of that, I think that we don’t pray because everything that we want to do, we can do ourselves if we work really hard. But, if we embrace this posture of praying together as a church, one thing we’re reminded of is that our ambition has to go far beyond our lifetime.

God’s Strength, Not Ours

As we pray, we attach ourselves to God’s agenda, and when we do that, we are reminded that God’s work always outlives God’s workers. And so, as we pray for things that extend far beyond our lifetimes, we are reminded that we aren’t going to be the ones that are in control of the goal that God wants to set, the things that he wants to do.


John Onwuchekwa

Examining what Jesus taught about prayer and how the first Christians approached prayer in the early church, this book offers practical advice for those eager to prioritize prayer in their churches. Part of the 9Marks: Building Healthy Churches series.

Our ambitions increase and our pride decreases as we realize that we can’t do the things that need to be done here in this world, but God can. What a wonderful gift for a church to come together to pray and ask for God to do and to be reminded that we’re only asking God to do the things that he, himself, wants to do. We don’t have to coerce him, we don’t have to twist his arm.

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