Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you: but I will teach you the good and the right way: ~1 Samuel 12:23
Dr. John R. Rice was a man of prayer. Everything that underscored this man’s ministry could only be explained by one thing: he believed in and practiced the ministry of prayer. One of his most well-known books he wrote was Prayer: Asking and Receiving. In this book he unlocks for every reader the privilege and power of prayer. One of the powerful statements he makes in this book is that all of our failures are a prayer failure. Samuel told Israel “God forbid that I should sin in ceasing to pray for you.” This morning let us be careful of the sin of prayerlessness.
We see the SUMMONS.
“And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;” Luke 18:1. “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;” 1 Tim. 2:1. The greatest ministry every Christian has is the ministry of prayer. We are commanded and summoned to pray always and for all men. Prayer is the one ministry that we never run out of people or things to pray about. Prayer is a ministry where we can call down God’s power to work in the lives of other people. Prayer is the means by which we demonstrate our passion for other people. Samuel’s name means “asked of the Lord”. His birth was an answer to prayer. His mother taught him how to pray. His praying helped protect and deliver Israel. His praying was the key means by which he impacted his generation. God calls us to pray: do you pray?
We see the STIPULATIONS.
Prayer is asking, seeking, and knocking. Prayer takes time. Prayer is hard work. Praying is the exercise of faith. “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him,” Heb. 11:6. Prayer requires that we live righteously. “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much,” James 5:16. Praying must be without ceasing. Praying must be with importunity. Praying must please God. Praying should be done at all hours of the day. Praying should be done everywhere. “I will therefore that men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath, without doubting,” 1 Tim. 2:8. Simply said we must pray, pray, pray!
We see the SIN.
Prayerlessness is a sin! “God forbid that I should sin in ceasing to pray for you.” James said, “Ye have not because ye ask not.” Prayerlessness weakens us. Prayerlessness makes us powerless. Prayerlessness deprives us of blessings. Prayerlessness leaves us apathetic and indifferent. Prayerlessness results in souls not being saved. Prayerlessness hardens our hearts. Prayerlessness means we are living with unconfessed sin. Prayerlessness means we are not praying for God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven. Prayerlessness means we are not praying for laborers for the harvest. Please note: the sin of prayerlessness is in our lives if we pray like the heathen and all we utter are vain repetitions. The sin of prayerlessness is in us if we pray as the hypocrites so that we can be seen of men. Samuel confessed that if he did not pray for Israel it was a sin. Let’s be honest and frank: little praying and zero praying is a sin.
We see the SOLUTION.
First, start praying now! Paul commands us to “pray without ceasing.” Live in the intensity of a spirit of prayer and importunity every waking moment. Second, utilize a well organized prayer list to pray from. Be diligent in adding prayer requests to this list, and making notations when prayers are answered. Third, schedule one major time and many minor times during the day in which you will pray. Commit to praying for one hour. Jesus asked his disciples “Could you not watch with me for one hour?” Fourth, have an accountability partner for prayer. This should be someone who will be tough on you and push you to do more. Fifth, pray to be always in the sweetness of God’s presence.
Do you pray? Do you pray consistently? Do you pray earnestly and for a long duration? Have the conviction of Samuel and say, “God forbid that I should sin in ceasing to pray for you.”
Have a prayer-filled God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Job 29-31