1 Samuel 12:23
Far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD by failing to pray for you.”
1 Samuel 12:23 is personally very challenging, Samuel, the prophet of God, considered prayerlessness a sin against the Lord. If I don’t pray for you, and you don’t pray for me, we can end up sinning against the Lord, because to live a prayer less life is to be disobedient to God. Prayerlessness is a sin against:
To live a life of prayerlessness is to live a life of rebellion against God, it is us saying that we can do life without Him. Prayer is not just an opportunity, it is a responsibility. It is not just a monologue in which we express our wishes and wants to God; it is a dialogue in which we also listen to Him. Through prayer God has designed to give us grace and guidance, correction and instruction where we seek to live according to his will. To live a prayer-less life means we neglect to check into headquarters to find out what the Lord wants us to do. What keeps you from talking to the Father? Do you want a less life or a prayer life?
We impoverish ourselves when we neglect to pray because prayer is the divinely ordained channel through which we are to receive those things essential to carrying on the work of God. Prayerlessness reveals something tragic about our spiritual heart condition. To neglect prayer reveals a smug spiritual satisfaction, moral laziness, unbelief, and preoccupation with pointless activity. Why do we willingly live in the desert of prayerlessness, empty and impoverished?
When we spiritually impoverish ourselves by failing to pray, we also rob others of blessings. Have you ever really wanted a vibrant faith? Do you eagerly desire that for others? Do you hunger for them to understand His strength and experience His love? Through prayer I can open a door for you but that requires me to pray selflessly. Is there room in your prayer life for others?
Jeremiah 33:3 “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.” We are invited to call out to God and His promise is that He will answer us. Moses cried out to God, and God spared Israel from judgment. Joshua’s prayer made the sun stand still. Hannah’s prayer was answered with a baby boy. Solomon got wisdom in answer to his prayer. Fire came down from Heaven when Elijah prayed and devoured the sacrifice on Mount Carmel. Jonah’s prayer brought him out of the belly of the fish. Elijah had the great power of God upon his life. But when Elisha prayed for a double portion of the Spirit, God did not bat an eye when He gave it to him. Jabez prayed for God to bless him, enlarge his coasts, for God’s hand to be with him, and keep him from evil, and God granted his request! Ten lepers prayed and were instantaneously healed. Peter prayed, and Dorcas arose from the dead. The thief on the cross prayed and was saved immediately. The early church prayed, and the place was shaken where they were gathered together. Peter got out of jail in answer to the early Christians’ prayers. The door of the Philippian jail fell off when Paul and Silas prayed.
So, will you pray? Because even though it is fascinating to read of the accounts of the answered prayers of the saints in the Bible, we serve the same God. He still has the ability to not only hear but to answer. It was Abraham Lincoln who said, “Many times I have been forced to my knees, realizing there was simply no other place to go.” George Washington met the crisis of Valley Forge on his knees in prayer. In a speech to the Constitutional Convention, Benjamin Franklin reminded the delegates of the daily prayer to God for the guidance and protection that they had offered. Stonewall Jackson said, “I have so fixed the habit in my mind that I never raise a glass of water to my lips without lifting my heart to God in thanks and prayer for the Water of Life.”
Prayer is the Christian’s greatest privilege, it is his greatest tool, his greatest weapon and his greatest opportunity. Prayer is the key to God’s storehouse, the switch to God’s power station and the greatest work in which one can become involved. Know that if you have just read this I have prayed for you. Who will you pray for today?