Ask yourself that question seriously. Every Christian knows they ought to pray. But have you ever asked yourself why? There are many not-so-great reasons to pray:
None of those reasons for praying will get you very far. The problem with each of these motivations is that they are humanly focused: either on other people or yourself.
A daily prayer habit requires a deeper motivation. A stronger drive. A prayer habit is the kind of thing that flies beneath the radar. It requires an internal flame that must be tended.
In Matthew 6:5–6, Jesus actually condemns prayer. Seriously! He looked at the kind of prayer that many of the self-proclaimed spiritual people of his day practiced, and he called it hypocrisy. They were praying to be noticed. So Jesus tells us not to pray. At least, not like that.
What should we do instead? Jesus calls us to drop all of these motivations and to instead go somewhere private. When you’re by yourself, Jesus says, God is the only one who can see you praying. You won’t get any credit for it, humanly speaking. If that sounds disappointing, consider this: Why would we make prayer about anyone other than God?
In just a moment, you’ll close your eyes and come face to face with God. So search your soul right now: are you about to pray because you want to be with God? When you can honestly answer yes, step into his presence with anticipation.
Tip for Cultivating a Daily Prayer Habit: Stop associating prayer with anything other than God. Teach yourself to think “being with God” every time you think of prayer.