So in light of the examples in the book of Acts and the repeated mandate for the practice of prayer in the NT epistles, why might it be lacking in our lives? There are a few reasons: 1) Self-reliance; 2) Self-righteousness; 3) Self-deception.
Self-reliance can easily invade ministry and service in the church as well, since our evangelical culture has found ways to manufacture results through man-made means. However, we must realize that God will not do anything of eternal value in our ministry unless we rely upon him by
seeking the means of grace he has prescribed. By adopting this understanding, we will be dependent in prayer. Next, a large portion of prayer should be made up of confessing our sin and weaknesses. So, another reason we don’t pray is because we don’t see our sin and we don’t see our sin because we have a view of ourselves that is far more righteous than the Bible allows for. We just don’t
spend the time examining our hearts with the truths of Scripture and we don’t do that because we really don’t think we’re that bad off due to comparing ourselves to others or justifying our sin based on our circumstances (self-righteousness). On the contrary, you will pray if the Spirit is pricking your conscience due to your sin.
Lastly, we might not pray because we are deceived about the danger of the temptations that come from our flesh, the devil and the world. We are willfully ignorant to the war that is going on in the spiritual realm; the battle that is not against flesh and blood. So why would we pray if there is not that much at stake? After all, we didn’t pray yesterday and still managed to restrain ourselves from committing a heinous sin, so what’s the big deal? Many a professing Christian have gradually fallen away from the faith with that exact mindset. This group of people in Acts 1, which represents the first gathering of the church, were not self-reliant, self-righteous nor self-deceived; thus they were devoted to unified prayer.