Here is the study guide for this week’s chapter in D. A. Carson’s book A Call to Spiritual Reformation.
Chapter Seven – Excuses for Not Praying
1. Before you read the chapter, what excuses have you encountered in yourself or from others for why people don’t pray?
2. What are the excuses that Carson lists? With which do you identify and why?
3. How does Luke 10:38-42 speak to Jesus’ perception of our busyness when it comes to making time for prayer? How about 1 Cor. 7:1-5? What might you need to cut out of your schedule to make more time to pray?
4. What two monstrous presuppositions lie behind the excuse of feeling spiritually dry? How do the two parables of Jesus speak to this according to the author? What implicit assumption is in both parables?
5. How is the third excuse trickier than the first two? What is God’s response according to Carson? Where does he illustrate this in Scripture?
6. Why is real prayer squeezed out in the fourth excuse? What is God’s response?
7. What is God’s response to the problem of shame in the fifth excuse? Where have you struggled with this?
8. What is the sixth excuse and what is God’s response?
9. As part of your reading of this chapter, spend some time with God examining your own heart with regard to excuses you tend to make about praying. How does the Lord speak to you? Where will the power of the gospel come to bear on your life to make changes so that your prayer life will undergo more and more spiritual reformation?