Let’s consider life without prayer. What would cause a person to be prayerless? What happens that would move us to quit praying? What are some of the distractions that crowds prayer out of our lives? Let’s get a little more personal. What have you quit praying about? Are you used to getting what you want? Or are you weary, tired and ready to give up because you haven’t gotten what you wanted?
God, the Father says “Come to Me!” God, the Son says “Ask Me!” God the Spirit is “interceding for us!”. From the cradle to the grave, there is this hunger for someone to hear us, acknowledge us, respond to us, embrace us, deliver us; yet when we “grow up” we quit praying. Why? Could it be that prayer is such a threat to the forces of evil in our world, that at every juncture there is an unceasing battle against our praying? What a paradox; the enemy of our soul knows quite well the power of prayer, yet we, having been given the gift of prayer, have denied its significance in our lives.
Or have we become so demanding, so controlling, that unless there is immediate and “right” answers, we move on? Are we moving toward God and others, or are we moving away?
Words like insulated, indifferent, less hopeful, overwhelmed, discouraged seem to be describing our responses to a world that is becoming less tolerant of us. Are we building walls to keep the noise out? People out? Problems out? Or are we joining the chorus of soothsayers, complainers, commentators, and condemners?
A minor prophet to Judah, shares some of these sentiments: “How long, O Lord, must I call for help? But You do not listen! Violence is everywhere! I cry, but You do not come to save. Must I forever see these evil deeds? Why must I watch this misery? Whoever I look, I see destruction and violence.I am surrounded by people who love to argue and fight. The law has become paralyzed, and there is no justice in the courts. The wicked far outnumber the righteous, so that justice has become perverted.” Habakkuk 1:2-4 NLT. Does this sound like some of our daily conversations?
Notice God’s response. “The Lord replied, “Look around you at the nations; look and be amazed!” For I am doing something in your own day, something you wouldn’t believe even if someone told you about it. I am raising up the Babylonians, a cruel and violent people…” Habakkuk 1:5,6. NLT. What a shock that had to be to the people of Judah! Could a God of love use judgement to accomplish His will? How are we interpreting what is happening in our world today? What is His will going to look like to us? Blessing or curse? Is God still in charge?
Could He possibly be using good and evil, blessing and judgement to awaken us to the audacity of prayerlessness? His arms of mercy are open wide! He wants us to rediscover the priceless jewel that comes with the gift of eternal life — prayer.