Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. ~James 4:2
Yesterday, we considered one of the greatest commands given for us to pray. God wants us to pray to Him. He commands us to pray to Him. However, perhaps the greatest sin of every Christian is the sin of prayerlessness. Tell me about your prayer life and praying, and I will tell you what kind of Christian you are. In the early days of African believers, they used to have a saying that if grass was overgrown in an area next to a man’s home, it was an indication that he had not been praying. James tells us, “Ye have not, because ye ask not.”
We see the cause.
Prayerlessness occurs because we are too busy. We do not make the time to pray. We are too busy to schedule time to pray. Our schedule controls us instead of us controlling our schedule. Prayerlessness occurs because we are bitter. When sins of the spirit such as bitterness, envy, jealousy, anger, wrath, and malice are present, there is either no praying or wrong praying. Prayerlessness occurs because we are boneheaded. We tend to be stubborn and self-willed. We do not want God involved because we think we can solve things ourselves. Deep down in our heart, we want God to work, but we try to do things our way.
We see the curse.
Prayerlessness results in a sterile life. There is little to no fruit. There is no fruit of the Spirit. It quenches the Holy Spirit’s influence in us. Prayerlessness results in a stymied life. “Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain.” We live in continuous frustration and discontentment. Prayerlessness results in a skittish life. We are in continuous anxiety, worry, and fear. Prayerlessness results in a sinful life. John Bunyan said, “Prayer will make a man cease from sin, or sin will entice a man to cease from prayer.” We are unprotected and unprepared for the fiery darts of the devil. It is easier for us to fall into temptation and into various kinds of sin when we are living in prayerlessness.
We see the cure.
First, we must confess the sin of prayerlessness. Second, we must designate a closet for our prayer time. This is a secret place. It is a sequester place. It is a sacred place. Third, we must commit to praying daily. In fact, we must commit to praying without ceasing. Jesus said that “men ought always to pray, and not to faint.” Fourth, we must pray everywhere lifting up holy hands; without wrath; without doubting. Fifth, we must come boldly to the throne of grace. This means we should come in faith, without fear and in complete humility. Simply said, we must go back to praying.
We see the conviction.
The best and biblical way to have a victorious prayer life is to be in a continuous state of prayer. This is what is meant to pray without ceasing. It has the idea of continuing where you left off. It means to designate specific times to enter into God’s presence. Samuel said, “God forbid that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you.” Robert Murray McCheyene said, “What a man is on his knees before God, that he is, and nothing more.” We must be convinced that prayer changes us and changes things around us. Abraham Lincoln said, “I have been driven many times to my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go. My own wisdom and that of all about me seemed insufficient for the day.” Make it a personal conviction that prayer is a continuous necessity. “Ye have not, because ye ask not.”
Have a prayer-filled God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Leviticus 1-4