Feb 16, 2020 08:00am
Indescribable Distraction is a Barrier to Prayer

In this digital age of indescribable distraction, our prayers have depleted. 

No doubt we could all cower behind this grand excuse that we have no time for regular prayer. I do. I hide behind it.

What terrifies me most is that I don’t merely make the excuse that I lack time…I actually convince myself I lack time.

But in truth we have plenty of time. An inordinate amount of time. The same time every human has ever had. If we will only use it.

Busy? No, not actually

“Gosh, I’m just too busy. So busy!” is our heart’s cry. But, no. We aren’t busy. We’re distracted. People have had the same duties as us – and probably more. Purified water didn’t gush from a silver faucet. Yet, they still made time for prayer. 

Daniel ran the affairs of a kingdom, but he carved out time to pray three times every day. 

David ruled an entire nation, and yet declared, “Evening and morning and at noon I utter my complaint and moan, and he hears my voice” (Ps. 55:17).

Martin Luther had an entire world to reform, and what was his attitude? “I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer.”

Most valued

What haunts me is this: I’d rather complain about my lack of time for regular prayer than actually make time for it. I’d rather allow my distracted heart to prioritize trivial matters over and above communing with the living God.

It comes down to value, doesn’t it? What do we value you most? What do you value most? Like, what do you want to be known for? How much impact would you like to have while you still live? It comes down to valuing prayer.

Listen, it’s not just us modern folk. This is a perpetually human issue. We are a distracted people, yes – but the human heart is the human heart. Horatius Bonar, writing centuries back, groaned against the same thing: 

“Why is there so little anxiety to get time to pray?  Why is there so much speaking, yet so little prayer? Why is there so much running to and fro, yet so little prayer? Why so much bustle and business, yet so little prayer? Why so many meetings with our fellowmen, yet so few meetings with God?”

Lasting resolve

Listen to what the late Ray Ortlund decided one day, a few decades back: 

“Okay Lord, it’s going to be 5:15am every morning. Ugh! Do you know what the world looks like at 5:15am? Do you know how hideous an alarm can sound then? Do you know how luscious the bed feels at that hour? Before long I knew that the secret of getting up early was going to bed early…If meeting God was top priority, then other events would have to fit in, after and around. Period!”

This is the resolve it takes. May it penetrate our hearts. And may God bless us and bless through us, as we more and more become people of prayer. Not distraction.

Copyright © 2020 by Justin Talbert @ . Used with permission. No part of this article may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from