We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand. —Randy Pausch
I once believed that. And that belief led me straight into a vacuum of hopelessness and despair; a desert place of fatalism and prayerlessness.
I mean, why should you pray if you believe all your options and outcomes are based on “the cards” you are dealt, right?
Making this even grimmer, was the fact that there are many in my family who struggle with depression; some battle even darker thoughts, because we have had two suicides in our extended family, along with other failed attempts. And because I believed, “It’s in your DNA. Nothing you can do about it.” prayer seemed pointless.
So tell me, what was I to do with the instruction of the scripture, “Pray without ceasing?”
We walk out the lies and beliefs we AGREE with.
Yeah, we do. (I did.) Because I believed things were futile to pray about—I didn’t pray.
And this, is exactly what the enemy of our souls wants.
Make no mistake about it, he does not fear your singing, or your attending church, or even reading your bible—but he lives in constant dread that you might actually begin to believe God, and pray for change !
Therefore, what we believe about anything is huge.
And, if we believe a lie? The enemy smiles.
Prayerlessness leaves no room for miracles or transformation.
Just look for a minute at how Jesus operated will you?
He was always talking with His Father; taking off to some mountaintop, then getting alone to talk to Him.
If He depended on prayer for strength and power why do we believe we can do without it?
The answer is an obvious no-brainer.
Yet, most of us in the church, (if we are honest) admit to living a fairly prayer-less lifestyle.
So here’s the deal…
I’m going to share six reasons, with scriptures, on why we should pray. These all came from a recent message a pastor gave on prayerlessness, and the problems it creates in our lives. Let’s see if they might motivate us to make some vital changes to our prayer lives.
Point One: You don’t want to face things for which you have no grace.
- Read: Luke 22: 39-46
- Problem: our prayerlessness leaves a vacancy in our lives that creates room for the tempter to operate.
- Solution: Prayer makes us aware of things going on in the unseen. Perhaps our prayerlessness means we end up fighting battles with temptation we didn’t need to fight if we had only prayed.
Point Two: It is essential that we step into our identity as sons and daughters of God.
- Read: Matthew 5: 43-44
- Problem: There are things in the unseen realms that can only be accessed by stepping into our identity, and that only after we pray for those who persecute and oppose us. Is it possible that there are things that are being withheld and will only be released and made manifest to the “sons and daughters” of God? (Roman 8:19 )
- Solution: When you forgive and pray for those who oppose you it becomes clear and manifest in the spirit realm that you are a son/daughter of God. Because, you are using your authority to go before the throne of God on the behalf of those who oppose you? Your identity becomes established and revealed.
Point Three: You do not have because you do not ask.
- Read: James 4: 2
- Problem: Prayerlessness creates and/or fuels lack in your life. If you are facing a BIG need? Perhaps you need to “dig in” a bit. Most of the time God looks for an earnest response in us to bring forth an earnest response in Him. Casual prayers get casual answers. If you are willing to live off of token answers—offer up token prayers.
- Solution: If you want heaven to move? Let your heart be moved. God will move as far as you move.
Point Four: Prayers for our “needs” only require our confident trust. Prayers for our “dreams” require persistence until there is a breakthrough.
- Read: Matthew 6: 7 and Luke 18: 1-8
- Problem: When you pray for your needs do not use vain repetition for your Father knows what you have need of. Simply bring the need before God and leave it there. He is a faithful Father who deserves our confident trust in what He has already promised to do. But, when you pray for your dreams, pray with persistence! Prayerlessness here allows a lack of breakthrough to become the “norm.” We blame “God’s sovereignty” rather than taking responsibility for our own prayerlessness for the absence of an answer.
- Solution: Ask for your “needs” in confident trust. Ask and keep on asking for your “dreams” until there is a breakthrough.
- Reason: Persistence in prayer changes us so that we will be able to steward the answers we have prayed for. If God gave us all we ask for right away—His answer would kill us! We ask for oak trees and He gives us an acorn. Why? Because while stewarding a dream, as it grows, I become a different person. My strength increases, my resolve increases, my sense of priorities changes, and all of a sudden I am willing to pay any price, because I can see something is happening before my eyes.
- I change with persistence in prayer and those changes are connected to my breakthrough.
Point Five: Prayerlessness creates a dry vacancy in the heart of a person and an opening for the enemy to invade.
- Read: Luke 11:24
- Problem: The enemy is searching for dry places in your heart to set up house. A favorite of his is in the area of generosity. Not just in your money, but how you look at people, the way you look at the power of your words to invest in others; because it is this, that is the “seat for generosity” in your heart.
- Solution: The Holy Spirit is a River of Living Water in us—gushing forth with blessings. (John 7: 38) When we are generous with all of the things of the kingdom we are to steward wisely, we reveal that we are most like our Father in heaven. (John 3: 16)
Point Six: Prayerlessness for a son/daughter of God might actually be sin.
- Read: 1 Samuel 12:23
- Problem: Could it be, that for Believers to be prayer-less, we are actually committing sin, by our lack of doing a righteous act? Samuel said, “Far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD by ceasing to pray for you.” Our prayerlessness accentuates the awareness of the absence of the presence of God in any given situation.
- Solution: Our prayerfulness accentuates and heightens our awareness of the Presence of God. Our continuing fellowship (all day long?) keeps us ready to intercede in any given moment.
- Pray that the prayfulness of Christ, be restored to us, His people.
And all God’s people said, “Amen!”
[ click on link to hear the entire message: Bill Johnson, Bethel Church ]