Have you ever considered prayerlessness as sin? The prayerlessness found in our lives and that which is definitive of many churches is just that – sin.
I think, too often, we consider prayer as a discipline to be mastered. It is nothing of the sort. It is simply a life lived in relationship — an evidence of our faith and our dependence on God. When we live apart from prayer, we live apart from an intimate relationship with God.
You may pray. Even so, it is not in your power to live a life of prayer, just as it is not in your power to reconcile yourself to the Living God. It is a gift. It is by grace. The Lord Himself enables us and impassions us for partaking in the honorable privilege of divine dialogue. Stop trying to pray and abide in Jesus.
Oh, how I need to be reoriented toward this mysterious and wonderful lifeline.
I’ve just begun reading The Prayer Life by Andrew Murray. Here are a few excerpts that have caught my attention. May they also spur you on to some renewed vision of life with Christ.
Mention was made in conference of the expression “strategic position” used so often in reference to the great strife between the Kingdom of Heaven and the powers of darkness.
When a general choose the place from which he intends to strike the enemy, he pays most attention to those points which he thinks most important in the fight. Thus there was on the battle-field of Waterloo a farm-house which Wellington immediately saw was the key to the situation. He did not spare his troops in his endeavor to hold that point: the victory depended on it. So it actually happened. It is the same in the conflict between the believer and the powers of darkness. The Inner Chamber is the place where the decisive victory is obtained.
The enemy uses all his power to lead the Christian, and above all the minister, to neglect prayer. He knows that however admirable the sermon may be, however, attractive the service however faithful the pastoral visitation, none of these things can damage him or his kingdom, if prayer is neglected. When the Church shuts herself up to the power of the Inner Chamber, and the soldiers of the Lord have received on their knees “power from on High,” then the powers of darkness will be shaken, and the souls will be delivered. In the Church, on the Mission-field with the minister and his congregation, everything depends on the faithful exercise of the power of prayer.
Happy is the prayer-hero who, through all, takes care to hold fast and use his weapon. Like our Lord in Gethsemane, the more violently the enemy attacked the more earnestly He prayed. and ceased not till He had obtained the victory.
We can hardly form a conception of the power God will bestow, if only we get freed from the sin of prayerlessness, and pray with the daring which reaches heaven, and in the almighty name of Christ brings down blessing.
Prayer is … above all fellowship with God, and being brought under the power of His holiness and love, till He takes possession of us, and stamps our entire nature with the lowliness of Christ, which is the secret of all true worship.
Have you laid hold of it, my reader? The abundant life is neither more nor less than the full life of Christ as the Crucified, the Risen, the Glorified One, who baptizes with the Holy Ghost, and reveals Himself in our hearts and lives as Lord of all within us.
I read not long since an expression – “Live in what must be.” Do not live in your human imagination of what is possible. Live in the Word – in the love, and infinite faithfulness of the Lord Jesus. Even thought it is slow, and with many a stumble, the faith that always thanks Him – not for experiences, but for the promises on which it can rely – goes on from strength to strength, still increasing in the blessed assurance that God Himself will perfect His work in us.
Other posts in this Prayer series:
Now This Is Prayer • Difficult Prayer • Dangerous Prayer • Wild Prayer • Inquisitional Prayer • Revolutionary Prayer