I'm currently reading a book entitled Fight on Your Knees....Calling Men to Action Through Transforming Prayer, edited by Dr. Mell Winger. It's a book that is, obviously from the title, about men and prayer. It is really good and it's been hard for me to put down. It has different authors writing each chapter. It calls us men to be the kind of spiritual leaders that God wants us to be. I read something yesterday about things that can keep our prayer lives from being fruitful and I wanted to share that part of the book with you. It made an impact on me. My prayer is that this will uplift and encourage you to be aware of these possible 'good gift' entanglements in your lives.
Satan can do much to keep us from becoming all that Christ desires. Sinful choices like adultery and addiction to pornography can certainly keep us from a vibrant prayer life. But I'm convinced that many men battle a more subtle entanglement than gross sin. Their prayer lives are weak due to the distraction that can come with God's good gifts.
You see, the greatest adversaries to our love for the Lord are not His enemies but His gifts. It is the pleasures of life that choke out the Word of God (see Luke 8:14). Now, understand that the pleasures of life and the desire for other things are not, in themselves, wrong or evil. But brother, when the gifts begin to obscure our relationship with Christ, then something is amiss. Eating food, biking, watching TV, playing sports, exercising, surfing the internet, talking on the phone, pursuing hobbies, studying, or reading mystery stories (all good gifts) can become hindrances to our prayer life. God has created us men to be doers. We like projects and tasks, and there is nothing wrong with that. But when we spend more time nibbling at the table of the world than at the banquet table of our God, our prayer life will be affected negatively.
If we don't take time to "be" with the Lord, then we will be caught up in the rat race of our day and begin to lose our sensitivity to Christ's presence. We must not allow ourselves to become entangled by distractions. The Lord encourages us, "Be still, and know that I am God" (Psalm 46:10, emphasis added).