Our Lack of Faith Shows in our Lack of Prayer
I was listening online to a sermon by a church and the pastor was speaking about the various programs the church was planning as they moved forward into the new year. Programs were going to abound for this church in the new year and this was seen as the church moving forward and out of their stagnation. Yet I was wondering as I listened to this man, “Where is the praying? Where is the anguish for souls? Where are the calls for intercession for the nations?”
Sadly, this church reflects most evangelical churches today. The prayer meeting is the cinderella of the church. As Leonard Ravenhill use to say, “The prayer meeting is often the unspoken sister. She is tucked away in the tower where no where sees her and where no one worries about her. She is ignored, forgotten, and abandoned.” Ravenhill also use to say, “Call for a meal and people will show up. Call for prayer and few will show up.” It has been said that Sunday morning shows how much you enjoy church. Sunday night shows how much you enjoy the preacher. The prayer meeting, however, shows how much you love God.
I too have often said that I can usually figure out a person based on their prayer life. I can remember in college how some guys would want to debate with me over my Arminianism and I would often reply, “First, come and pray with me in my dorm room for a couple of hours and then we can talk theology.” None ever did. It was far easier to sit around and debate about God than to actually seek Him. It was easier to read John Calvin or Arminius than to actually get on your face before the Lord and cry out to Him. I would rather pray any day than to debate theology. I love theology because I love Jesus and who He is but I love to put my theology into practice and pray (James 2:14-26).
I believe that the modern Church lives far below where she should be. Few pray. Few believe in God. We believe that He exists. We believe much of the Bible. But we show our lack of faith because we don’t pray. We don’t seek God’s face. We are busy with other things from sports to family life to programs at the church. We don’t seek Jesus. We know that the Scriptures exhort us to pray but we don’t. We don’t believe the Word of God. If we did believe the Word of God, we would pray as it commands us to (1 Samuel 12:23). We wouldn’t neglect prayer because we would believe that the very God who created all things will hear our cries and answer us when we call to Him (John 14:12-14).
In Hebrews 11 we read the great hall of faith. We read about the great servants of God who were faithful to God despite living under the old covenant. Over and over again we read that their faith in God produced results. They put their faith into action. In fact, nearly all the great saints of God listed in Hebrews 11 are often remembered not for their great theological minds but their faith being put into action. Their faith in God produced actual results. Does ours? Do we seek God as if what He said in His Word is actually true? Do we seek God believing Ephesians 3:20-21? Do we seek God believing James 5:13-16? Do we believe Mark 11:22-24? Do we really believe that our faith in Jesus is the something better that Hebrews 11:40?
I do want to seek God. I am thankful for God’s grace that saves me (Ephesians 2:5) but I want His grace to help me become more like Jesus including seeking the Father in prayer. Jesus sought God (Luke 11:1). Jesus demonstrated faith in God (Hebrews 5:8-9). Jesus taught us how to pray (Matthew 6:9-13). Jesus even said that we were to always pray and not lose heart (Luke 18:1). Even on the cross, Jesus prayed (Luke 23:46). So if Jesus sought God like this, shouldn’t we? He is our perfect example and we are to follow His lead (1 John 2:6).
So I urge you to seek God. Don’t waste your time on things that won’t last. Don’t be foolish and think that you can spiritually survive without prayer. Don’t be unbelieving but believe the Word of God and seek God. Prayer demonstrates our faith like nothing else. So do you believe?