It almost sounds very strange to ask this, but are there times you shouldn’t pray?
In fact there are times when prayer would be displeasing to God. Let me give you some examples.
God is firm and explicit about many areas in His Word. For example, we know that adultery and stealing as well as idolatry and murder are always wrong. To pray about committing those sins makes no sense. Asking God to change your heart or attitude in those areas, to the contrary, makes really good sense.
If we know God’s Word speaks about something, we don’t need to pray about it. When we are told to be kind and considerate or to do to others as you want done to you, you really don’t need to pray. You need to act.
On the other hand, I have a genuine desire to be prayerful about everything. Think of how many decisions you have to make where there is not a clear message from God’s Word.
Again, let me give you an example. My job is to lead God’s church. We have many different areas we can emphasize and still do acts which are obviously in the will of God. I need to pray to know what areas God wants us to emphasize.
We need to know that God is leading and blessing our efforts.
I need to pray about areas that make me anxious. Paul told the Philippian church to be anxious for nothing and prayerful about everything (Philippians 4:6). The obvious cure for anxiety is quiet trust in God and calling upon Him in prayer. The result will be the peace that comes from God which is beyond human comprehension.
We need to pray that God would convict the lost and draw people to Himself. How beautiful when wives pray for their husbands and husbands pray for their wives to be saved.
How wonderful when we ask God to show us His way and to lead us in paths of righteousness.
One special prayer for me is to pray the Lord’s Prayer. I stress the area where we ask God to keep us from the evil one.
I know there are some areas where I don’t need to pray, but I know many, many areas where I must pray. I need God in my life. I don’t need to do what I can do; I need what God can do through me.
For this reason, I want to pray about everything.