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Why is Prayer So Difficult?

Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak (Matthew 26:41 KJV)

If prayer is that important, why don’t we pray more? The answer is straightforward: prayer is difficult, and there are many challenges and obstacles. We would expect more prayer if we truly believe what we often say, that is, “prayer is the key.” Should we expect anything of value to come to us easily? Though there are many roadblocks to prayer, such as time constraints, I will discuss two subtle but common enemies of prayer: the flesh and spiritual resistance.

The first enemy to our prayer life is the weakness of the flesh. By “flesh,” I do not mean the seat of sin but our normal human nature, which is inherently weak. Jesus said in Matt. 26:41 above, “the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” An example can best illustrate this. Have you ever been doing something you love   with  attention and interest, but as soon as it is time for prayer, your eyes become heavy with sleep? The flesh does not like the things of God: it stands as the first obstacle to jump over.

After the flesh, the next subtle but powerful reason prayer is so difficult is a spiritual resistance. Have you ever noticed that once you decide to start praying, your problems seem to increase immediately? This is spiritual warfare seeking to quench the fire of prayer. You might not have noticed it, but as soon as you start praying, discouragement, time pressures, demands at home or work, etc., will come as ocean waves to quench that prayer. Sadly, many of us give in and back off. 

Therefore, we must overcome the obstacles of the flesh and spiritual resistance if we have to keep prayer moving.

Read more: Three Essential Components of Prayer.

Watch Deshen Live Bible Study : Why is Prayer So Difficult?


How do the two obstacles mentioned above( the weakness of the flesh and spiritual resistance) apply to you?

Apply the Word

Your body will give you ten thousand reasons why you should not pray—do not give in. When discouragement, minor problems here and there put pressure on you to give up a prayer for “other things,” do not back off. Instead, take those reactions are proof that your prayer is causing a stir in the spirit, and continue praying!


Ask the Father to help you overcome the flesh and spiritual opposition in prayer.

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