Prayerlessness

J. D. Conley
November 15, 2015

The Bible has much to say about the importance of prayer and how it ought to be a constant activity in our life. Jesus was a man of prayer, (Mark 1:35), and exemplified the need for prayer in His life. He said, "...men ought always to pray, and not to faint" (Luke 18:1). The apostles, "...gave [themselves] continually to prayer..." (Acts 6:4). Prayer is a reoccurring theme that is weaved into many of Paul's letters, (cf. Romans 1:9; 12:12; Ephesians 1:15, Colossians 1:9, 1Timothy 5:5, etc). He plainly declared to the Thessalonians, "Pray without ceasing" (1Thessalonians 5:17).

But despite these numerous commands and exhortations to pray, prayerlessness persists even among God's people. But why? Consider these possible reasons for prayerlessness:

INDEPENDENCE. How can any child of God feel so secure and self sufficient to think they do not need God at all times? Affluence and prosperity can instill a sense of independence in people that should not be. The Edomites had such an attitude. God's prophet, Obadiah, informed them, "The pride of thine heart hath deceived thee, thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, whose habitation is high; that saith in his heart, Who shall bring me down to the ground? Though thou exalt thyself as the eagle, and though thou set thy nest among the stars, thence will I bring thee down, saith the LORD " (Obadiah 3-4). When man loses his dependency on God, he will no longer feel compelled to pray to Him.

INGRATITUDE. A lack of gratitude for God’s blessings will cause one to become guilty of prayerlessness. Job acknowledged there were people like this, "Therefore they say unto God, Depart from us; for we desire not the knowledge of thy ways. What is the Almighty, that we should serve him? and what profit should we have, if we pray unto him" (Job 21:14-15)? Tragically, some only pray to God for what they think they can squeeze out of Him. If they are denied their desires, they ungratefully turn against Him. But God cannot be squeezed nor does He have to be, since He is the Giver of all good gifts, (Psalm 68:19; Acts 14:17; James 1:17).

INDIFFERENCE. Many are simply apathetic about prayer. Sin is the reason for prayerlessness. When times are good, many see no need to pray. When times are bad many might bend the knee and bow the head, but even then, some don’t care to pray. Prayer is an act that cannot be entered into lightly. It must be done with a heart full of faith and expectation, James said, "But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord" (James 1:6-7).

Prayerlessness, let it not once be named among us!