I have the sneaking suspicion that if you ask most Christians if they are satisfied with their prayer lives, most would say “no.” On one hand, that’s OK, we should never be content in our pursuit of God but continually seek to grow. On the other hand, much of our dissatisfaction may be our own doing. Superficial diagnoses of our dissatisfaction won’t solve the problem, but these words from Andrew Murray in chapter 18 of Living a Prayerful Life get to the root:
…[P]erhaps you need to acknowledge: “I am convinced that the reason for my unsatisfactory prayer life is that I have not lived with a wholehearted surrender of all that would hinder my fellowship with God.”
…Prayerlessness is not something that can be overcome as an isolated thing. It is related to the state of the heart. And it is a way of life. True prayer depends on an undivided heart. And I cannot give myself an undivided heart…but God will do it. He said He would give us a heart to fear Him. He also said He would write His law on our heart. Such promises serve to awaken a desire to pray. However weak our desire may be, if there is a sincere determination to strive after what God has for us, He will work in our heart both to will and to do of His good pleasure. It is the great work of the Holy Spirit in us to make us willing. He enables us to seek God with our whole heart. May we acknowledge that we have been doubleminded, because while we have given ourselves to many earthly things with all our heart and strength, we cannot always say that we have given ourselves to fellowship with God with our whole heart.
We can’t passively wait for full surrender (as Murray may teach elsewhere), but must cultivate it each day. When we have given ourselves to fellowship with God will all of our hearts, not only will our prayer lives grow, but our joy will be made more complete (1 John 1:3–4).
“With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments!” Psalm 119:10