Prayer is our direct communication with God, our speed dial to the creator of the Universe. It can direct and affect our daily lives. But, something concerning is happening with this generation. The line has been cut- we don’t pray. Not like we’re supposed to. We don’t have prayer closets or dedicated times of prayer. With busy, full lives in an always on the go world, it has sadly, become a thing of the past. I am part of this generation, and it really scares me. Herein lies the root of the problem- the reasons Millennials don’t pray:
They live in an instant gratification society. They want results. They have every little bit of information in the entire world at their very fingertips. A pastor spoke at my church recently and said that we expect our prayers to be answered like a fast food drive thru. We want to be able to ask God what we want, and just drive around the building and pick it up in a nice, conveniently packed box. We want results. And we want them NOW!
They can’t switch off. We have our phones buzzing, tablets blinking, and the television constantly chattering on in the background. We don’t even go to the bathroom without our phones attached somewhere on our person. How can we expect to find a few moments speaking with God, when we are NEVER truly alone?
They don’t “have the time.” This goes hand and hand with the not being able to switch off. In modern society, free time has become a rarity. Every one is always busy. We have to be completely entertained all of the time- and because of that, down time is almost non-existent.
They haven’t been desperate. Our generation has been coddled more than any other generation before us. We aren’t even half as self sufficient as past generations. Any time we get into trouble we call Mommy or Daddy to fix it. We have the answer to any question we can think of in seconds flat- about as long as it takes for our smart phone to answer. In that respect, we have been sheltered from complications that life sometimes throws at us. Sometimes we really only learn to pray when we REALLY need something. When we have nowhere to turn. If we’re never desperate, we won’t need to seek God.
Nothing is private anymore. In a social media driven world where we share every detail about ourselves, down to the food that we ate for dinner last night (I’m guilty!), nothing is sacred. We know everything about everyone- in real time. We don’t feel the need to talk to God. We just assume He knows what we want, everyone else already does. But, He wants us to talk to Him. To be specific when we ask Him for things. We can’t just assume God knows what we want- we need to actually ask Him.
They feel entitled, and therefore aren’t as thankful for what they’ve been given. I don’t mean this is true for everyone-but the generation as a whole… They just assume they deserve what they have. Ann Voskamp says, “Thanksgiving always precedes the miracle.” And if we don’t give thanks, how can we expect miracles? If we aren’t actually thankful for what we have, why would God bless us?
It isn’t “fun.” In a world where churches have worship teams, flashing lights, loud and fast paced music, and a jumbo screen- quiet prayer doesn’t sound very interesting. These are not necessarily bad things,there are lots of great churches with great bands and upbeat services. I attend one myself. But, if we never learn to appreciate quiet and reflective prayer- prayer without distractions, we may never have the relationship with our Heavenly Father that He so wants us to have.
They were never taught how. Prayer meetings have become a thing of the past. Praying over people, an oddity. Look around you next time you’re at a restaurant and take a look at how many people pray over their food before they consume it. Probably none. It’s sad, but true. How can we expect young people to know how to pray if they’ve never really been exposed to prayer?
This lack of prayer life in this generation is disturbing. And it will only get worse. If we don’t pray, our children sure aren’t going to. This problem will turn into an epidemic unless we do something about it. Until we get down on our knees in our living rooms. Hold hands around tables and bow our heads in thanks. Pray with and over our children at bedtime. Hold our spouses and share our worries and concerns. Shut off the distractions and pray wholeheartedly.
We need to make prayer a priority again. To not be afraid to expect miracles. To boldly stand in the presence of God, His arms wrapped around us, as if He is right here with us. To praise and thank Him daily for this wonderful, amazing life we’ve been blessed with.
The bible says to “pray without ceasing.” (1 Thess 5:17) It’s time to get started.