if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14 (NKJV)
Once the people of God have humbled themselves, they must pray. Prayerlessness flows out of pride. Part of pride is feelings of self-sufficiency. A person that is self-sufficient doesn’t see any need to pray. Prayerlessness does not say, “God is all I need”; rather “I have all I need.” People are often prayerless because they do not see or feel a need that only God can provide. People are often prayerless because there are very few needs that they cannot provide for themselves and so they don’t pray.
One of the greatest spiritual dangers of living in prosperous America is feeling self-sufficient or satisfied and thus becoming prayerless. It is frightfully easy for us to look at all that we have and make the same mistake that the Laodecian church did.
“…you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’–and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked—“ Revelation 3:17 (NKJV)
A lesson we learn from the Laodecians is it’s possible to be so satisfied and complacent with physical things that we neglect spiritual things. They didn’t see their spiritual condition as it really was because of their physical comforts. It is entirely possible that something similar is happening or has happened to the church in America.
We didn’t get to the place where sexual immorality was normal, marriage was seen as something easily tossed away, violence was common, mass murders weren’t shocking, and all the other stuff we are seeing overnight. Our culture has been spiraling into depravity for years. And, sadly, for years the Church has been blind or apathetic to it.
Spiritual apathy is rampant in the American church. This generation of Christians has more opportunity to study the Bible than any generation before us. Yet we are possibly the most Biblically illiterate generation of Christians ever. This is shown by the unbiblical worldview, acceptance of false teaching, and normalization of immorality within the church. Spiritual apathy and blindness flow out of prayerlessness.
A large portion of the American church has a weak and anemic prayer life. Prayer is not a major focus of their lives. They don’t pray unless they are having a problem. One of the most common reasons given for prayerlessness is that we simply don’t have time. Author John Piper had something to say about this idea that was quite challenging.
“One of the greatest uses of Twitter and Facebook will be to prove at the Last Day that prayerlessness was not from lack of time.”
Well, you say, I don’t Twitter or Facebook so…Well we could replace Twitter and Facebook with…
Talk on the phone
Play Candy Crush
Read a book
And it would still accurate. Rarely is the real problem that we don’t have time. Instead, the problem is usually that prayer is not one of the priorities that we make time for.
A prayerless church is a church that is so satisfied by the physical world that they are blind to what is going on in the spiritual world.
A prayerless church is blind to the spiritual battle that is raging around it.
A prayerless church is a church that cannot make a difference to slow the cultural spiral into depravity.
A guy named Leonard Ravenhill said, “The church is dying on its feet because it is not living on its knees!”
The more we pray the closer we grow to God.
The closer we are to God, the more we see things the way He would have us to see it.
The more we see things the way God would have us to see it, the more we feel about things the way God would have us to feel about them.
The more we pray, the more aware we are about the spiritual battle that’s raging around us.
The more aware we are of the spiritual battle, the more we’ll fight it.
The more we fight the spiritual battle, the more we’ll make a difference to slow the cultural spiral into depravity.
Let’s be sure that we are not a prayerless people. Let’s repent of our prayerlessness.